According to recent data, workers in New Jersey and across the country between the ages of 45 and 64 are increasingly seeking joint replacement surgery. Between 1997 and 2009, the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported a 144% increase for men and a 157% increase for men in the number of knee and hip replacements.
Many New Jersey workers experience neck, back or joint injuries that impair their ability to perform their job duties. Such impairments, brought on by disease or injury, are generally referred to as orthopedic conditions because they affect the human musculoskeletal system. The cause of an orthopedic condition can be either hereditary, as in the case of scoliosis, or acquired, as with repetitive stress on joints.
Orthopedic impairments can make it difficult or painful to sit or stand for long periods of time, or may inhibit fine motor skill movement. When a disability impairs that functionality, it may become impossible to perform expected work duties.
Amazing advances in surgical technology have made joint replacement surgery a feasible option for more workers suffering from orthopedic ailments. Yet not even the most cutting-edge technology may be able to address every orthopedic injury. When such injuries result in temporary or permanent disability and prevents an individual from working, Social Security disability benefits may be available.
Unfortunately, many applicants can encounter serious difficulties when applying for Social Security disability benefits. The application must be filled out to exacting standards, and it must be supported by significant medical evidence. It can be hard for some applicants to fully understand the Social Security system; those who feel confused may wish to speak to a Social Security disability attorney who can explain the necessary steps and help to ensure that the application is filled out correctly.
Source: nj.com, "Q&A with orthopaedic specialist Dr. Hari Bezwada," Joyce J. Persico, Dec. 30, 2012