Citation Nr: 1760266
Decision Date: 12/27/17 Archive Date: 01/02/18
DOCKET NO. 14-17 686 ) DATE
On appeal from the
Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in Houston, Texas
Entitlement to a rating in excess of 10 percent for chondromalacia of the right knee.
Appellant represented by: Texas Veterans Commission
WITNESS AT HEARING ON APPEAL
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD
L. Barstow, Counsel
The Veteran had active military service from August 1975 to May 1977.
This matter comes before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) on appeal from a July 2012 rating decision of the VA Regional Office (RO) in Houston, Texas. In May 2017, the Veteran testified at a videoconference hearing conducted before the undersigned.
The appeal is REMANDED to the Agency of Original Jurisdiction (AOJ). VA will notify the Veteran if further action is required.
The Veteran was last provided a VA examination in June 2016. He testified at his hearing that his knee has worsened since that examination. Therefore, the case must be remanded to provide the Veteran with a new VA examination. See Schafrath v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 589 (1991).
Accordingly, the case is REMANDED for the following action:
1. In accord with the provisions of 38 C.F.R. § 3.159(c)(1), make efforts to obtain all records identified by the Veteran.
2. Afford the Veteran a new VA orthopedic examination, with an examiner who has reviewed the claims file. This examiner must address all subjective complaints and objective symptoms of the chondromalacia of the right knee. All findings and opinions must be included in a typewritten report. The examiner should:
i) Address range of motion, painful motion (and at what point it starts), additional loss of motion after repetitions, and functional loss due to pain. This information must be derived from joint testing for pain on both active and passive motion, in weight-bearing, and nonweight-bearing, compared with the left knee.. The examination report must confirm that all such testing has been made and reflect those testing results.
ii) Elicit information as to the frequency, duration, and severity of any associated symptomatology, to include specifically recurrent subluxation or lateral instability; dislocated semilunar cartilage with episodes of locking, pain, and effusion into the joint; symptomatic removal of semilunar cartilage; impairment of the tibia and fibula (nonunion or malunion); and genu recurvatum. The examiner should also note the presence and extent of any ankylosis.
3. After the completion of the instructions of paragraphs 1 and 2 and any other development deemed necessary, furnish the Veteran and his representative with a Supplemental Statement of the Case and give him an opportunity to respond before the case is returned to the Board.
The Veteran has the right to submit additional evidence and argument on this matter. Kutscherousky v. West, 12 Vet. App. 369 (1999).
This claim must be afforded expeditious treatment. The law requires that all claims that are remanded by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals or by the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims for additional development or other appropriate action must be handled in an expeditious manner. See 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 5109B, 7112 (West 2014).
A. C. MACKENZIE
Veterans Law Judge, Board of Veterans’ Appeals
Under 38 U.S.C. § 7252 (2012), only a decision of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals is appealable to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. This remand is in the nature of a preliminary order and does not constitute a decision of the Board on the merits of your appeal. 38 C.F.R. § 20.1100(b) (2017).