If you or someone you care for has been diagnosed with Scheuermann’s Disease (or Kyphosis) read on for how Social Security will evaluate your claim for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) or SSI (Supplemental Security Income).
Scheuermann’s Disease or Kyphosis usually happens to adolescents during their growth period. A normal spine has a natural curve that allows for equal distribution of weight. With Scheuermann’s, the spine becomes more curved than normal because the vertebrae are wedged together in a triangular shape. This can result in a “hunchback” appearance. There are many possible causes but no exact cause has been established. Via University of Maryland Medical Center.
Symptoms usually begin in young teenagers and can include: difficulty breathing, fatigue, back pain, tenderness in the spine and difficulty with range of motion. X-rays and MRIs are used to confirm the diagnosis. Treatments for Scheuermann’s Disease can include a brace and physical therapy but a fusion with hardware may be necessary in severe cases. Via US National Library of Medicine.
A fusion with hardware is an invasive surgery. Depending on the degree of curvature a 13-level spinal fusion may be needed. As with all surgery there are possible complications, such as inflammation, breathing impairments, nerve injuries and the chance that reoperation may be required in the future. But most people can return to their life after the fusion has healed. Via Wikipedia
The Social Security Administration can evaluate Scheuermann’s Disease under Listing 1.04, Disorders of the Spine but as mentioned in the preamble of this listing 14.09A or 14.09C may be more on point. In addition, if there are respiratory issues use 3.00,cardiac issues 4.00 or a mental disorder, 12.00. The child equivalents of these listings are found here.
In my experience the above listings are difficult to meet and you may not be able to work even though you do not meet these listings. A combination of pain, limitation of motion and medication side effects may preclude work for you. Surgery helps many but there are always exceptions. Also, you may be unable to work years after your surgery because while your body changes, the screws and rods of a fusion do not.
If you are unable to work or if your child is suffering from Scheuermann’s Disease file a claim for SSI/SSDI as soon as possible and call The Bishop Law Firm. We want to help!
Also read Social Security Disability Process
This post was last updated in June 2018.