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I am seeking help on what to do going forward. I retired from the AF in 1999 and recieved Service Connected disability for hearing tinnitus 10%, hiatal hernia gastroesphageal reflux disease 10%, gegenerative changes left knee 10%, degenerative changes right knee 10%, status post left acromioclavicular separation (shoulder) 20%. In April 2014 I apllied for an increase and requestioned evaluation that my conditions have worsened over 15 years. I have severe osteoarthritis in both my hips and am scheduled for surgery this coming Friday to do hip replacement on my left hip which is the source of constant pain and I have fallen several times in recent months. I have been seeing an othopedic doctor for 2 and a half years for that condition and not willing to have surgery until recently. I can hardly walk now and it has been awhile (2 years) since I could even put on my socks and shoes without the help of my wonderful wife who is a registered nurse and works for a different orthopedic doctor but none-the-less she is well versed in ortho medicine. The VA sent me to a QTC doctor who examined me and I wasn't very happy with his exam in which he stated there was no X-ray evidence of any osteoarthritis and when he told me to squat and lifet my legs in the exam I was unable to do those tasks and he reported to the VA I refused to do Range of Motion measurements. I receivedy reponse from the VA Yesterday and they denied any increase and also denied that my bilateral hip condition is secondary to my SC knees. I am quite certain my gait and pain from my knees has aggravated my hips over the 15 years since I was initially awarded bilateral knee degenerative. I have asked for a nexus letter from the surgeon who is going to do my surgery on Friday stating my knee condition has more likely than not aggravated my hip condition. I was told by my VSO we can submit additional information in response to my claim denial. My question or what I need help with is trying to determine if I should also get my wife to submit a nexus letter as a medical professional and close observer of my worsening condition over 15 years. How is it possible to prove my knees have aggravated my hip condition. Does the civilian doctor's letter change anything. I am usually an optimist and I won't give up and I would appreciate any advise anyone out there can provide to help me. I want to know if I will be eleigble for temporary disability since the VA has already denied my hip is not SC to my knees. How could they not be? By the way I wondered if I submitted pictures fo the kind of acitivity my military job as an aircraft crew chief maintenance mechanic would carry any weight. The job (22 years) of repetitive squatting, kneeling, climbing, bending, twisting on hard surfaces such as concrete, aircraft surfaces and pushing and pulling heavy ground equipment and carrying additional weight like tool boxes and test equipment didn't take it's toll on my hips whethre it began to show up as a problem about 4 years ago. I have also had four or five injections for my left hip and both knees over the past 4 years. Thanks you yoou all for your own sacrifices and service to our great nation.

NEVER GIVE UP!

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  • HadIt.com Elder

A good IME OR IMO from a out side Dr. as well as the photos should be help full to support your claim..jmo

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I totally agree with Jerrel.

You need the IME report and IMO from your orthopedic surgeon. Although it will not carry as much weight as medical evidence, a statement in support of claim from your wife might be helpful since she has witnessed your medical conditions worsen over time. In my opinion, your wife's statement should be given more weight due to her experience as an orthopedic nurse. Just curious, was the doctor who conducted your orthopedic exam an orthopedic specialist or a general medicine doctor? My last two C & P exams for cancer (multiple myeloma) and a neurological condition were conducted by a nurse practitioner rather than an oncologist and a neurologist.

Definitely submit the photos any any other documentation you can get your hands on that describes the physical requirements and demands of the aircraft crew chief maintenance mechanic. Perhaps a written job description if it lists the physical demands. JMO

Good luck to you and thank you for your service.

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