At Andalman & Flynn, we have studied the treatments, symptoms, and limitations of many impairments, including degenerative arthritis. If you have degenerative arthritis and are unable to work, we can help! Contact us to speak with an experienced disability benefits lawyer on our team, and we’ll do everything we can to maximize your chances of success.
What Is Degenerative Arthritis?
Degenerative arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, is a joint disorder. It is very common and occurs due to aging and wear and tear on the joints. Cartilage is what sits between bones and cushions them. Over time, the cartilage becomes damaged, causing the bones to rub together—which in turn causes swelling and joint pain. Joints may become weaker and stiffer over time. It can affect the knees, hips, and spine, as well as other joints.
Causes of Degenerative Arthritis
There are various different causes of osteoarthritis, some of which include:
- Family history of degenerative arthritis
- Being overweight—more weight leads to more wear and tear on bone cartilage
- Injuries to joints, including fractures, cartilage injuries, and ligament injuries (usually leads to the disease later in life)
- Active jobs involving a lot of kneeling, squatting, walking, and climbing stairs
- Playing high impact sports
- Disorders that cause bleeding in the joints (such as hemophilia)
- Having others types of arthritis
Disabling symptoms of degenerative arthritis generally appear during an individual’s middle age. If they do not appear by mid-life, almost everyone has some degree of symptomology by the age of 70. Common symptoms include:
- Pain and stiffness in joints (pain increases during exercise)
- Rubbing, grating, or crackling sounds when joint is moved (due to stiff/hard joints)
- Severe swelling
- Limited range of motion
- Joint repair through surgery
- Joint replacement
Before the age of 55, the disorder generally occurs equally in women and men. After this age, osteoarthritis is more commonly found in women. An individual can have a physical exam or x-ray done to document the existence of osteoarthritis. A physical exam can determine if the patient has joint swelling, crepitation (joint movement that causes cracking sound), limited range of motion, and tenderness. An x-ray can show loss of joint space, wearing down of the ends of bones, and bone spurs (an outgrowth of bone). Unfortunately, there is no cure for degenerative arthritis. Symptoms worsen over time and with activity.
Degenerative Arthritis Disability
Pain from degenerative arthritis can be severe. When symptoms become severe they may become debilitating. The pain from arthritis may make performing even simple tasks difficult or impossible, particularly where a task has to be done frequently or repetitively. The Social Security Administration (SSA) explains when the condition becomes a degenerative arthritis disability that qualifies an individual for benefits in the Listing of Impairments, Section 1.
Consult with Experienced Degenerative Arthritis Disability Lawyers
If you suffer from degenerative arthritis and it has made you unable to perform your work duties, contact Andalman & Flynn. Our disability benefits attorneys are experienced in representing individuals throughout the country who are struggling with this difficult condition. We offer initial consultations free of charge to our disability clients. If you are interested in setting up a meeting with one of our experienced degenerative arthritis disability lawyers, either in person or by phone, please fill out an online contact form or call us at 301-563-6685.