Citation Nr: 18123921
Decision Date: 08/03/18	Archive Date: 08/03/18

DOCKET NO. 14-38 984A
DATE:	August 3, 2018
ORDER
Service connection for bilateral knee arthritis is granted.
FINDING OF FACT
The Veteran’s arthritis of his knees is related to service.  
CONCLUSION OF LAW
The criteria for service connection for bilateral knee arthritis have been met.  38 U.S.C. § 1131; 38 C.F.R. § 3.303.
REASONS AND BASES FOR FINDING AND CONCLUSION
The Veteran served on active duty from February 1976 to April 1978.  He appeals for service connection for left and right knee disability.  
Establishing service connection generally requires medical or, in certain circumstances, lay evidence of: (1) a current disability; (2) an in-service incurrence or aggravation of a disease or injury; and (3) a nexus between the claimed in-service disease or injury and the present disability.  See Davidson v. Shinseki, 581 F.3d 1313 (Fed.Cir.2009); Hickson v. West, 12 Vet. App. 247, 253 (1999); Caluza v. Brown, 7 Vet. App. 498, 506 (1995), aff'd per curiam, 78 F.3d 604 (Fed.Cir.1996) (table).
Service personnel records indicate that in service, the Veteran was a tae kwan do instructor and completed an airborne course.  He testified in April 2018 that he had to do a (parachute) jump every 90 days and had over 25 jumps total.  
On service discharge examination in March 1978, the Veteran denied having a trick or locked knee and his knees were clinically found to be normal.  However, the Veteran indicated in March 1978 that he had or had had swollen or painful joints, with the examiner noting that he had had some joint problems due to karate, and during the Veteran's April 2018 hearing, he specified that this involved his knees.  
The first mention of knee trouble of record post-service is in the 2009 timeframe.  A June 2010 private medical record states that in May 2009, the Veteran was teaching a CPR class and on getting up from a kneeling position, he felt pain over his left knee.  He saw a private physician for ongoing problems with his left knee in July 2009, and then had arthroscopy with medial and lateral partial meniscectomy and removal of loose body.  Left knee minimal degenerative changes were shown on X rays in June 2010, and right knee osteoarthritis is more recently shown on X ray in April 2018.
The Veteran’s theory of recovery is that his current left and right knee arthritis is due to and began in service, with tae kwan do, flight jumps, and running being causative factors.  
He has submitted a medical opinion in May 2018, from his current VA health care provider.  It states that the Veteran suffers from military related service injuries as a paratrooper.  It indicates that he has premature arthritis due to landing force trauma repeated in both knees, and that this was aggravated by running and karate and CPR instruction.
Based on the evidence, including the information contained in the March 1978 report of medical history, the testimony the Veteran provided in April 2018, and the May 2018 medical opinion from the Veteran's VA health care provider, attributing his bilateral knee arthritis to service, the Board finds that service connection is warranted for the Veteran's current bilateral knee arthritis, as related to service flight jumps, running, and karate instruction. This is what the opinion from his VA health care provider states.  Reasonable doubt is resolved in the Veteran's favor.  
 
M. C. GRAHAM
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	C. Lawson, Counsel 

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