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Key Tip for Ankle Injuries

​Most service members (and attorneys) do not know how the VA evaluates loss of motion as either “marked” or “moderate” under DC 5271.  It is actually very straightforward. Marked limitation of motion in the ankle is found when you have less than 5 degrees dorsiflexion or less than 10 degrees plantar flexion.  Moderate limitation of motion is found when you have less than 15 degrees dorsiflexion or less than 30 degrees plantar flexion. When assessing range of motion, you should only flex until you feel pain as this test is designed to determine your useful- i.e. pain-free- range of motion.  Thus, if your intial range of motion included pain, it should be redone.  Frankly, the safest practice is to have it done twice by separate providers so that no one will query whether you were simply “doctor shopping” until you obtained a favorable result. 

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