Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1583 19
E. Kosmidis
  • Pensions (assessment) (knee)
  • Pensions (Rating Schedule) (knee)

The worker suffered a left knee injury in January 1981, for which the Board granted the worker a 10% pension, increased to 13% in 1995 and to 15% in 2002. The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying an increase in the pension after knee replacement surgery in June 2015.

The Vice-Chair referred to Decision No. 2355/05, which noted factors that may accompany findings for assessment in the Ontario Rating Schedule, including range of motion, ligamentous stability, crepitus, increased joint pressure, leg length discrepancy, overall function, comparison to the good knee and gait. However, for a patient with total knee replacement, there are other factors that enter into the assessment. Even though range of motion and stability have been improved, it is not a normal knee and does not function as a normal knee. Special care must be taken to prevent mechanical injury. An improved range of motion may be a sign of laxity rather than a good result. Further, there are losses that are often not measured or measurable, specifically loss of sensation, weakness in the leg and presence of a foreign body that could become infected or be the source of infection.
In the circumstances, the Vice-Chair increased the worker's pension to 20%, retroactive to the date of the total knee replacement surgery. The appeal was allowed.