Questions about osteoarthritis.
I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in 2009. I have a high tolerance for pain and waited until I was bone on bone and my leg was locking up before going back to the doctor. By the time I went to the doctor a TKR on my right knee was my only option.I have been out of work since April 29 and my surgery was May 14. I was put to the head of the line because my knee was a mess. This is my question about osteoarthritis. I have OA in my left knee as well. In fact it is slowing down the healing in my right knee because it is now hurting from being the weight bearing leg. The plan is to get the 3 injections in my left knee to help my right knee improve, but I know I am close to needing that one replaced as well.The surgeon said it was borderline. I also have osteoarthritis in my neck, spine, and shoulder and I have a herniated disc in my neck. I am 52 and I have a job that is physically demanding. Heavy lifting and on my feet all day. Because of this I am often in pain, which I tend to ignore, but am realizing I need to be listening to my body a little more. I do not think that I can do my active job anymore. I also can't sit at a desk for long periods of time. That hurts my lower back and sciatic nerve. I am at a crossroad here.At what point does it become a disability? I have the left knee that is going quickly downhill followed by my right shoulder. Has anyone had to make this decision and how did you know it was time?
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I have followed a similar path. My issue was my back initially but am riddled with osteoarthritis in most joints. My path turned out to to retire because I could. The determining factor was I could not preform my job like I wanted to. Exploring disability sounds like a very wise option. I did have a spinal fusion which has been successful and am having surgical interventions on the bone on bone joints. One of the biggest lessons I have learned is to keep moving to the best of my ability. I know I haven’t answered you question but wanted you to know there is a ray of sunshine. Good luck
Hi, @ssbionicknee – I agree with @mschock that it seems prudent to be looking into all your options, like disability, with the osteoarthritis and pain you are experiencing, and your physically demanding job. Listening to your body is really smart, and it sounds like you are doing just that.
I'd like to introduce you to some others who have talked about disability or who have some knowledge in this area, like @hopeful33250 @elizabej @johnbishop @jeancary @kdo0827. Hoping they will have some insights to share on how to know at what point a health issue becomes a disability and how to know when it is time to make the decision to go that direction.
@ssbionicknee – what does your doctor say about whether going on disability might be appropriate at this time?
@ssbionicknee Hi After I fractured my back I had to make this decision after trying to go back to work,nurse,I realized I couldn't so went to Social Security and talked with them For me they checked the numbers and told me Id be better to stay on widows s.s.then go on disability for Id lose 400.00 a month so if you decide go talk to s.s first I of course I stayed on my widows s.s
You were asking about your osteoarthritis and the possibility of applying for disability. If you care to share more, other than the arthritis, do you have other physical or emotional problems that might add to the need for disability?
There are professionals (lawyers and other advocates) who can help you determine whether or not you would qualify for disability. Sometimes, they have their own team of medical and psychological people who can help evaluate and help "plead your cause."
It would be good to talk with your medical doctor(s) and see what they say, then talk with a legal professional who specializes in this type of law and begin the process of putting your case together.
Generally speaking your first attempt to apply for disability benefits are often denied, and the second attempt (especially with professional legal counsel) helps to pull it through. These are of course just general guidelines.
Will you talk with your doctor(s) and get an opinion?
I have bad knees and osteoarthritis but am not eligible for disability because I'm already retired and on social security. I think like others have discussed it would be a good idea to talk with a professional to help you make the best decision for your situation. Here is a website that may be helpful:
Social Security Disability Benefits for Osteoarthritis
Tips for Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits for Osteoarthritis (a link in the above webpage)
I just wanted to tell you my advice on applying for disability. It took me 3 years and 3 tries before I finally was approved. I did it twice on my own. I highly recommend hiring a disability attorney!!! It was well worth it and even then it still took over a year. An experienced disability attorney makes a great difference and they are paid out of your settlement.
Actually, that was helpful. I do move around quite a bit, but can only stand for so long before needing a break. Today has been a rough day. I told a few friends that my knee is telling me it is going to snow, even though it is in the high 80's. 🙂
At my appointment he took a great deal of time looking at the x-rays and manipulating both knees. At one point he looked at me and asked if I wanted to go back to work (this was after deciding that I needed 6 more weeks off to heal) I did not think about what he meant by that at the time. I believe he may have been gently hinting that it might not be a good idea. Right now I am waiting for approval for the injections. This weekend has been rough. Some days it is the right knee and some days it is the left knee that hurts. The x-ray of my left knee is quite interesting. My kneecap is over to one side and no longer in the middle. I am going to call tomorrow and see what my doctor thinks.
My orthopedic records are all in one place because I have been going to them for years. I looked back at the records and besides the osteoarthritis, I saw that I had some degenerate disc disease in my spine and I believe my neck. I have a small tear in my rotator cuff from a fall and have fallen again since. I have Restless leg syndrome and ADHD which I take medication for, but still need to keep moving. I am being treated for anxiety and depression, which are under control. My feet overpronate and my sciatic nerve flares up along with my lower back. It has been worse lately. I am also still walking with a limp, which the doctor said is because my other knee is so bad. I was diagnosed with tendonitis in my right elbow as well. That is all I can remember at the moment. I am going to message the doctor and have been looking at the other comments. I have had 2 friends tell me to get a lawyer and I saw several comments advising that I do that as well. I believe that is the way I will go depending on what the doctor says. I appreciate the support and information from everyone.
I am 52 and retiring is not an option for me. I agree with you about talking to a professional. Thank you for the links. I am going to look them up and try to talk to my doctor tomorrow. I need to get the ball rolling on this.