Did you know that over 92% of veterans are rated for limitation of flexion of at least one knee? Knee conditions are in the top 5 of the most common veteran disabilities, with limitation of flexion being the most common of knee issues.
Unfortunately, knee conditions are often some of the most difficult for veterans, doctors and the VA to understand and correctly rate. It’s important to know that a veteran can get multiple ratings for the same knee, depending on severity, conditions, and different movements.
One injury can cause multiple issues, and this means a veteran is eligible for benefits for the individual conditions without infringing on the rule against pyramiding, as long as it is for different movements.
How does the VA rate Knee Issues?
A normal range of motion for a knee is 0-140°. 0° is full extension; your leg in a straight position. 140° is full flexion; your leg bent at the knee. Flexion and Extension are two different motions, and two ratings can be awarded for them.
Percent Flexion During a Flare / Diagnostic Code = 5260
30% 0-15 degrees
20% 16-30 degrees
10% 31-45 degrees
Percent Extension During a Flare /Diagnostic Code= 5261
50% 45+ degrees
40% 30-44 degrees
30% 20-29 degrees
20% 15-19 degrees
10% 10-14 degrees
*Subluxation is dislocation of the patella, also known as the kneecap.
*Lateral (or medial) Instability is the “giving away” of the knee, often due to knee ligament damage.
Percent Recurrent Subluxation or Lateral Instability / Diagnostic Code = 5257
C&P (compensation & pension) Exams should test:
- Range of motion
- Range of motion after repetitive motion (as often range of motion is limited over time after use)
- Flare-ups & limits of functioning
- Functional loss due to pain
If a doctor does not ask about and test all of the above, it is likely the rating is inaccurate.
Overwhelmed yet? This is a lot of information and there are many facets to consider and remember. Having someone that KNOWS this information in your corner is crucial! This is what we do all day every day, and we take on the burden and fight for and alongside you. You are likely not getting the maximum ratings for your knee injuries and conditions, and it’s free to consult with us and find out.
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