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"I torn my meniscus. Can I apply for disability?"

ZocdocAnswersI torn my meniscus. Can I apply for disability?


I torn my meniscus about a 2 years ago and got surgery to fix it about an year ago. It's fix the problem until recently were its been hurting like crazy to the point were i can bearly walk. Can I apply for disability?


This is a difficult question to answer. Qualifying for disability is usually less about the actual diagnosis than it is about demonstrating on the part of your healthcare provider (in this case, an orthopaedic surgeon) that your condition is actually debilitating. That said, a torn meniscus in and of itself is seldom a reason to qualify for disability. In your case, when you say that your torn meniscus was "fixed", I assume that it was actually repaired, as opposed to partially or entirely removed. Torn menisci are very often partially or entirely removed, depending on the extent of the tear and your age and activity level. In your case, if the meniscus was truly fixed, then your recurrent pain may be due to a re-tear. In that case, you would have to demonstrate that you've been worked up and treated appropriately albeit unsuccessfully to qualify for disability. Namely, you would have to demonstrate that you've undergone a repeat evaluation and MRI, injections, possibly repeat surgery and therapy. Disability is a costly but oftentimes necessary safety net for patients like you that are chronically impaired by certain conditions. In order for insurance companies to qualify you for these benefits, they have to make sure that you've failed the appropriate treatments before justifying the high cost of disability. As always, your most definitive source for medical evaluation is your own doctor or orthopaedic surgeon, so please consult them. Should your symptoms worsen or change, please call your physician immediately, or in the case of an emergency, please call 911.

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