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What to Expect in a Knee Pain C&P Exam

va disability for knee pain

Knee pain is a common complaint among veterans seeking Veterans Disability compensation. Often this leads to a Compensations and Pension (C&P) exams. These exams play a crucial role in determining the eligibility and extent of benefits for service-connected knee conditions. So let’s explore what individuals can expect during a knee pain C&P exam, covering various aspects such as the types of knee disabilities, and the examination process.

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Types of Knee Disabilities

Before delving into the examination process, it’s essential to understand the various knee conditions that may be considered for service connection. Some examples include patellofemoral pain syndrome, meniscal tears, knee arthritis, ligamentous injuries (e.g., ACL or MCL tears), and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) tears. These conditions can be service connected on a primary or secondary basis, depending on the circumstances.

Primary Service Connection

A primary service connection occurs when an injury during military service directly leads to a knee condition or the worsening of a pre-existing knee injury. This connection might be established even if the injury was not documented in the service treatment record, with supporting evidence such as buddy letters or occupational exposures.

Secondary Service Connection

Secondary service connection involves a knee condition that is caused, worsened, or aggravated by another service-connected disability. For instance, a long-standing left knee condition may lead to a new disability on the right knee due to altered gait or weight distribution.

Other Considerations

Factors like occupation (e.g., paratrooper, infantryman) and weight gain can also contribute to knee disabilities. Excess weight can place additional strain on the joint, leading to deterioration or the development of conditions like arthritis.

The C&P Exam Process

Scheduling the Exam

After filing a claim for VA disability related to a knee ailment, individuals will receive a packet specifying the exam details. This includes the location, time, and information about the medical professional conducting the examination.

The Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ)

The heart of the C&P exam is the Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ). This document guides the examiner in gathering essential information to help adjudicators determine the appropriate disability rating. Veterans can find the knee DBQ on va.gov. The DBQ covers various sections, including diagnosis, history, range of motion, and additional factors contributing to disability.

Range of Motion Examination

A crucial aspect of the exam is the measurement of the knee’s range of motion. Examiners use a goniometer to assess the degree of flexion and extension. Active and passive range of motion is evaluated, with the latter involving the examiner moving the joint to assess any limitations or pain.

History and Flare-ups

Veterans are asked to describe the history of their knee condition, including onset and course. Additionally, they should report any flare-ups, detailing the impact on daily activities and functional loss during these episodes.

Muscle Atrophy and Joint Stability

Examiners assess for muscle atrophy, particularly in areas around the knee. Joint stability is evaluated, focusing on factors like ligamentous tears, the use of assistive devices, and recurrent patellar instability.

Surgical Procedures and Diagnostic Testing

Details about past surgeries, if any, and diagnostic testing are crucial components. This includes information on the type, date, and location of surgery. Diagnostic tests, such as imaging studies, provide additional insights into the knee’s condition.

Functional Impact and Employment Setting

The impact of the knee condition on daily life and employment is explored. Questions about standing, walking, lifting, and job-related activities help determine the functional impact and potential work limitations.

Understanding VA Ratings

While Leah does not provide legal advice, and reiterates that it is important to follow up with an accredited legal professional for guidance, it’s essential to touch on the potential ratings associated with knee disabilities. The 38 Code of Federal Regulation outlines different diagnostic codes for various knee conditions. Ratings may be assigned based on limitations of flexion, extension, instability, and the presence of knee replacements (total or partial).

Conclusion

In conclusion, veterans undergoing a knee pain C&P exam should be prepared for a thorough evaluation of their condition. Understanding the components of the exam, from the DBQ to range of motion measurements, can help individuals actively participate in the process. Seeking professional advice and ensuring accurate documentation of the knee condition’s history and impact can be crucial steps in navigating the VA disability claims process. Remember, every individual’s experience may vary, but being informed and proactive can contribute to a more comprehensive evaluation.

Also read: Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Neck Pain in Veterans Disability

At Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting, a veteran-owned company, we specialize in Independent Medical Opinions (IMOs) known as Nexus letters.

Our purpose is to empower YOU, the veteran, to take charge of your medical evidence and provide you with valuable educational tools and research to guide you on your journey.

Understanding the unique challenges veterans face, our commitment lies in delivering exceptional service and support.

Leveraging an extensive network of licensed independent medical professionals, all well-versed in the medical professional aspects of the VA claims process, we review the necessary medical evidence to incorporate in our reports related to your VA Disability Claim.

Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting is not a law firm, accredited claims agent, or affiliated with the Veterans Administration or Veterans Services Organizations. However, we are happy to discuss your case with your accredited VA legal professional.

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Danielle McClaskey

Client Relations Specialist U.S. Navy Veteran

In her active-duty service in the United States Navy, Danielle undertook a variety of responsibilities, ranging from essential administrative duties to providing crucial medical care. Her multifaceted contributions played a pivotal role in enhancing her fellow service members’ operational effectiveness and well-being.

As a disabled veteran, she developed a profound understanding of the unique challenges faced by her fellow service members. Now, in her civilian role, Danielle is a valued member of the Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting team, where she continues to leverage her extensive background and educational achievements to provide exceptional support to veterans.

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LETICIA

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Leticia has been in the medical field for nearly 14 years. She has always had a passion for medicine and caring for her community. Leticia has spent the last 4 years caring for veterans and first responders with alcohol and substance abuse in a medical rehabilitation setting whilst continuing her education working towards a degree in software development.

Someday she hopes to develop medical software that further enhances the patient’s experience in medical care. Leticia has a deep respect and love for those who have served as she comes from a family of law enforcement and military veterans.

Alan Bucholz

ALAN BUCHOLZ, PA-C:

U.S ARMY VETERAN, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Alan enlisted in the US Army as a combat medic, where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Influenced by his time as a combat medic, he attended the Interservice Physician Assistant program while on
active duty, was commissioned as an officer, and subsequently deployed to Afghanistan.  

Alan’s military and medical background inspired him to form Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting with his
wife, Leah Bucholz, a Physician Assistant and Army Combat Veteran.  He has devoted himself to using his
knowledge gained in the military as a medical professional to serve the Veteran community.

Alan Bucholz

ALAN BUCHOLZ, PA-C:

U.S ARMY VETERAN, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Alan enlisted in the US Army as a combat medic, where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Influenced by his time as a combat medic, he attended the Interservice Physician Assistant program while on
active duty, was commissioned as an officer, and subsequently deployed to Afghanistan.  

Alan’s military and medical background inspired him to form Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting with his
wife, Leah Bucholz, a Physician Assistant and Army Combat Veteran.  He has devoted himself to using his
knowledge gained in the military as a medical professional to serve the Veteran community.

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ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

During her Active-Duty time in the US Navy as a Hospital Corpsman, Julie provided medical administration
and patient care services in the field, the hospital, and base medical office settings.  This military medical and
administrative background has given Julie the hands-on experience and extensive knowledge necessary to
provide unparalleled service to her fellow Veterans through the Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting team.

Julie’s educational achievements include a Bachelor of Arts with a minor in Human Services and a pre-nursing associate in arts and science.

Julie has been inspired by her firsthand knowledge of navigating the VA Benefits process. She has dedicated
most of her adult life to serving Veterans through her knowledge derived from her military and civilian medical
education and training.

Jennifer Januta

JENNIFER JANUTA

U.S ARMY VETERAN, CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

During her Active-Duty service in the Army, Jennifer supported various research efforts centered on combat casualty care and Soldier performance. Her military background gave her unique insights into veterans’ distinct challenges, ultimately inspiring her to join the Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting team.

Jennifer’s educational achievements include a master’s in molecular biology from George Washington University and a master’s in data science from Texas Tech University. Jennifer wholeheartedly dedicates herself to utilizing her knowledge and expertise gained from 15 years of healthcare experience to impact the well-being of those who have served positively.

Alan Bucholz

ALAN BUCHOLZ, PA-C:

U.S ARMY VETERAN, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Alan enlisted in the US Army as a combat medic, where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Influenced by his time as a combat medic, he attended the Interservice Physician Assistant program while on
active duty, was commissioned as an officer, and subsequently deployed to Afghanistan.  

Alan’s military and medical background inspired him to form Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting with his
wife, Leah Bucholz, a Physician Assistant and Army Combat Veteran.  He has devoted himself to using his
knowledge gained in the military as a medical professional to serve the Veteran community.

Leah - Meet the Team

LEAH BUCHOLZ, PA-C

U.S ARMY VETERAN, MEDICAL EXPERT & FORMER C & P EXAMINER

Meet Leah, the founder, and leader of our organization. ​​A combat veteran herself, she understands the unique challenges veterans face, making her mission about much more than running a successful business. It’s about the opportunity to provide a legacy of exceptional service for our heroes.​

​“It is essential to remember that there is no greater honor than caring for service members on the battlefield. Continuing to care for Veterans after separation is an opportunity that I have been afforded to extend that care in this new battlefield related to service-incurred disabilities.”

Her inspiration comes from years of military experience working alongside her fellow servicemembers, particularly key leaders who have influenced her journey, applying their wisdom to her path. She values her team deeply, most of whom are also disabled combat veterans, each member a trusted individual sharing her vision.

 “Driven by passion and purpose, I aim to create a sustainable change that empowers veterans and future generations.”

Leah’s journey hasn’t been without challenges. From overcoming and living with her service-related disabilities to navigating work-life balance, she’s learned to face each hurdle head-on with resilience.  Like many of her veteran brothers and sisters, her early background consisted of limited resources and opportunities. Her military service has helped shape her into a steadfast leader, offering relatable inspiration to others.

Join us in celebrating Leah, a compassionate leader, and resilient veteran, driving our mission to serve those who served our nation.