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Risks due to low bone density

  1. Feb 15, 2007 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    At least ten years ago, at about age forty-seven, a relative was told that a bone density test indicated that he had the bones of an eighty year old. For a number of reasons we are hoping that he might now qualify for SS disability benefits, and we were thinking that this bone density issue might do it.

    Assuming that the degradation is now ten years further along, and since he mainly does manual labor when he can get work, does anyone know if a physician would say that he at serious risk for fractures, and that this justifies a disability claim? Of course this assumes that a new test would confirm the previous results.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2007
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  3. Feb 15, 2007 #2

    Moonbear

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    First, on the bone density issue, it does put one at higher risk for fractures. But, compared with 10 years ago, there are also some drugs now on the market that are intended to help either retain or improve bone density. So, if this hasn't been brought up with his physician recently, he should look into it.

    On the side of disability claims, knowing the hassles others have gone through when they were already injured and had sufficient pain to prevent them from working, I don't think SS is going to let him base a disability claim on risk of fractures. Unfortunately, that system seems to be set up that you have to actually injure yourself to the point where you can't work first (and even then they give you a ton of hassles).
     
  4. Feb 16, 2007 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    Crud, you're probably right.

    This is so frustrating. He had CP but all of the medical records were lost. He is really not up to doing manual labor any longer, and mentally, for example, he is not up to something as challenging as running a cash register, but on both counts he doesn't quite qualify for benefits. His unemployment has run out and he can't get a job.
     
  5. Feb 16, 2007 #4

    berkeman

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    Even if he's not up to running a cash register, maybe he could find work in a hardware store or Home Depot type place, based on his manual labor background? What kinds of manual labor did he generally do? If it was sheetrock or bricks or some other construction-related work, they might like having him in the aisles doing light stocking duties and consulting with customers.
     
  6. Feb 16, 2007 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    We have pretty much exhausted those options. He has done the worst jobs, such as picking rocks out of dirt in 110 degree heat. He has managed to get a bit of seasonal work with the local fruit packers, he worked as a security guard and doing housecleaning tasks for offices, but he can't seem to keep a job for long. We put together the best resume possible and submitted to the two Wal Marts and two Home Depots within driving distance, but not a bite after two years. He goes to the employment office every day, but he only manages to land temp jobs like those mentioned above, for a week here and there, every once in awhile.

    As nearly as I can tell, unless the job is pure manual labor, eventually he screws up and gets canned. And now he's old enough and looking frail enough that he's not getting the manual jobs. His IQ was one point above or below the limit [we don't know for sure, but we are talking about an IQ of sixty here] to qualify for assistance, so the state denied the original claim and the appeal, and require further evaluation, which will probably take another year to work through before we can even apply again.
     
  7. Feb 16, 2007 #6
    What was the diagnosis... I have never heard of a 47 year old man having osteoporosis but i don't know what else it would be...

    You can't claim disability without a medically diagnosed disability... and having a lose bone density would be a symptom and not a cause...
     
  8. Feb 16, 2007 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    I don't know. I only heard about it a week or two ago, but the test was done over ten years ago. The doctor who did the tests is dead and his office is gone.
     
  9. Feb 16, 2007 #8
    ok... get him to see the doctor again then... if i was told by a doctor that i had the bones of an 80 year old - then i wouldn't rest until i knew the underlying cause!... there's probably loads of things it could be...
     
  10. Feb 17, 2007 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    Yes, we are planning that he be fully evaluated.

    Does anyone know if it can be shown now that he suffered brain damage due to CP, as a baby?
     
  11. Feb 17, 2007 #10

    Moonbear

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    What are you using the abbreviation "CP" to mean? I usually think cerebral palsy when someone says "CP," but that's not something you have as a child and then goes away. It's a lifelong disorder that is the result of a neurological problem, not the cause of it. So, I'm wondering if you're using the abbreviation to mean something else? If he has CP, he may have learned to compensate, but the neurological deficit would still be present. A neurologist could help make a definitive diagnosis. From what you've been describing, this sounds like someone with a neurological disability that is also affecting his physical abilities, so if the old medical records are lost, it sounds like you need to see a neurologist to re-diagnose him (or verify if CP was even the right diagnosis). The same for the bone scan. That's something that certainly should be confirmed. If you can find out information from his family about why the initial scan was performed, that might help provide a new doctor with a better history. Afterall, you don't usually do a bone scan on someone that young unless you have a reason to suspect a problem...either a history of fractures under unusual circumstances (if a pattern of an unusually large number of old, healed fractures, or fractures in uncommon places, can be seen on x-rays, that might make a more convincing case), or something known about either the disease he has or medications he's been taking that would deplete bone density.
     
  12. Feb 17, 2007 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    I do mean cerebral palsy. The irony is that when born, the doctors believed that he would have to be institutionalized for his entire life. Due to the heroic efforts of his parents, he made amazing progress while growing up, but he clearly is not fully functional. I suspect that he has always compensated by working very hard at fairly simple, manual labor tasks.

    Okay, so it sounds like we need to plan time with the doctors. Also, I believe that a couple of knee surgeries may have motivated the bone density test, but that's about all that I know.

    Thanks for the help. This is all a bit much to sort out.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2007
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