Joint and Musculoskeletal Injuries including Arthritis
Military jobs are physically demanding. Physical training is required to enter the armed forces, and servicemembers routinely participate in physically demanding activities such as running, road marches, jumping out of airplanes, scuba diving, running, obstacle courses and combat during the remainder of their service. This is one aspect of military life that makes it uniquely challenging. Physically demanding activities required by the military take a toll on the body and often lead to long-term musculoskeletal injuries. Injuries involving the back, legs, arms, feet, shoulders, hips, knees and other joints are commonly experienced by servicemembers, and these injuries often lead to chronic conditions such as arthritis.
Often times, these injuries set off a domino effect and cause the veteran to have problems with other areas of their body. For example, a veteran with a right knee problem may overcompensate with their left knee. This overcompensation causes the veteran to also begin having problems with their left knee. In such an instance, compensation may be warranted for both the right and left knees since the left knee problem is “secondary” to the right knee problem. In such an instance, an expert medical opinion is needed linking the two conditions.
When rendering decisions, the VA puts considerable emphasis on a veteran’s military service treatment records (often referred to as STRs or SMRs). Unfortunately, many veterans’ service treatment records lack documentation of injuries sustained while in service, so the record lacks proof that the onset of the current condition started while on active duty status. The most common reason a veteran is denied service-connection is that their service treatment records don’t reflect the onset of the condition while on active duty. Some veterans simply weren’t treated for their injuries while on active duty, and sometimes symptoms caused by military service don’t manifest themselves until the servicemember exits active duty. In instances such as this, a medical opinion is typically needed in order for service-connection to be awarded.
Did the VA deny you benefits for residual joint issues such as arthritis, limitation of motion, painful motion or “secondary” problems caused by your service-connected conditions? If so, let VA Disability Group help so you can receive the benefits you deserve. Contact VA Disability Group online or call 1-844-VETLAWS (1-844-838-5297) for a free case evaluation.