MEB questions


Registered Member
Hello I had am MRI in December that confirmed a left and right labrum tear in my hip. I had surgery on the right hip, but am still having a lot of pain in the left hip. My question is can I undergo a meb if i do not want surgery on the left hip.


PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Interesting, because I really don't want a second surgery I feel I am in more pain now then I was Before
Interesting. I'm in the same boat. Had the surgery and more pain than before. Latest MRI shows degeneration in labrum and thinning cartilage.. what to do, what to do...

Matt Kozyra

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
It's surprisingly difficult to get to 30% disability on just one hip. They're typically rated under Diagnostic Code 5253 for limitation of abduction or adduction (lifting your leg to the side, or crossing your legs). That maxes out at 20%.

Another typical rating is under Diagnostic Code 5252, for limitation of flexion. You can get to 30% if you can show that your hip flexion (ability to lift your leg forward) is limited to 20 degrees or less. That's a huge mechanical disability - most people don't get there. It's much more likely that you're in the 10% or 20% group for your limitation of flexion. If you can move your hip normally, but you just have a lot of pain when you use it, then you'll just end up with a 10% for painful motion under either 5252 or 5253.

You can also get to 30% if you have certain femur issues, normally from a serious trauma like a motor vehicle accident or a botched surgery.

And, of course, if you get a hip replacement, the minimum rating is 30%. You're probably too young for a hip replacement, though.

There are other clever things you can do with just one bad hip. If you're walking weird, it's probably going to mess up a knee or your back or an ankle at some point or another, and you may be able to get that added. You also might have some nerve issues that are caused by the hip injury, or by the treatment for the hip injury. Those can add another 10 or 20%. Navy/Marine Corps really doesn't like those arguments, but Army/Air Force/Coast Guard are more understanding.

But at the end of the day, the most common way to get to 30% for hip issues is to get both hips declared unfitting. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to have surgery to correct both sides. As @KatJack43 noted, sometimes, surgery does more harm than good. If you can get a doctor to sign off on the fact that your other hip is jacked up but that it's reasonable for you to decline surgery, that puts you in a stronger position.
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