Is Morton’s Neuroma A Disability?
Morton’s neuroma is definitely a condition that causes a lot of discomfort to the patient. However, just by analyzing the discomfort, a condition cannot be qualified as a disability condition. Various other parameters are also involved during analysis. Morton’s neuroma is a condition with mild, moderate and severe stages and each stage has its own set of symptoms. When Morton’s neuroma is mild or moderate, the symptoms are less severe and the patient feels less discomfort. In severe conditions, when the patient is not able to walk due to numbness and severe pain, the condition would be a debilitating condition. Disability of a condition also depends upon whether the symptoms are permanent or temporary and can be treated with various treatment options. If the only choice for treating Morton’s neuroma in a particular patient is surgery, then during the removal of fibrous tissue, the nerves are also removed making the condition permanently debilitating as there would be numbness in the foot.
Qualifying Morton’s Neuroma As A Disability
Although Morton’s neuroma may be a disability condition as it restricts the movement, causes severe pain, is a progressive condition and also causes numbness in the foot. Overall it affects the quality of life and causes discomfort. However, the severity of the condition varies from patient to patient. Thus, if a patient suffering from Morton’s neuroma has a mild form of the disease, mild pain and the patient is performing routing activities without any problem, then the condition is not said to be disability condition. However, in patients with severe form of the disease which significantly reduced walking and causes burning sensation and numbness, the condition is said to debilitating. For qualifying the condition to a debilitation, the following factors are to be considered.
Treating Physician. The report from the treating physician is one of the important documents to be considered while claiming the disability benefits of Morton’s neuroma. The treating physician will be the best person to exactly provide inputs on your current condition and how fast you are recovering. Further, he may also comment upon the prognosis of your condition.
Discharge Summaries. Discharge summaries, if the patient was admitted in the hospital, is also considered while claiming disability benefits. The discharge summary will include when the patient was admitted in the hospital, what was the treatment provided, what was the severity of the condition and when the patient gets discharged. It also indicated the future course of the treatment advised to the patient.
Reports Of Diagnosis. Diagnosis reports of the patient are analyzed to evaluate the severity of Morton’s neuroma. The diagnosis of Morton’s neuroma is done through MRI, CT scan or X-Ray. Further, the imaging reports before and after the treatment are compared to get an idea about the effect of treatment on the condition of the patient. Blood test reports are also considered for analyzing the level of inflammation in the body.
Reports Of Physiotherapy. The patient suffering from Morton’s neuroma has difficulty walking and is suffering from numbness and pain. The nerves innervating the toes get affected and physiotherapy is sometimes advised to reinstate the movement. The report of physiotherapy and its effectiveness is also looked into while considering the disability application of the patient.
Report From An Independent Physician. In certain cases, when there is no conclusion indicated form the report of the treating physician, a report from the independent physician is asked to be submitted. This will help in analyzing the situation in a clearer manner and also remove any biases involved in the report of treating physician. The independent physician will examine the patients and all the reports and treatment documents related to Morton’s neuroma, prior to submitting his report.
In its severe form, Morton’s neuroma is definitely a disability condition as it does not allow the patient to walk due to severe pain and burning and pricking sensation. Physician, both treating and independent, diagnosis report and physiotherapy reports are considered before qualifying the condition as a disability condition.
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