Kienbock's disease is avascular necrosis of the carpal lunate. Avascular necrosis, which is also known as osteonecrosis, is a disease where bone dies from lack of blood supply. Kienbock's disease is most commonly observed in patients from 20 to 40 years of age, and has a predilection for the right hand in persons engaging in manual labor. According to Northwestern Health Sciences University, Kienbock's disease results in progressive pain, swelling, and disability.
I represent a 50 year old carpenter whose application for Social Security Disability benefits was approved today because his Kienbock's disease had become disabling. As usual, the claimant was ordered to go to “IMA Disability Services”, which I explained was unnecessary. The case law makes clear that a carpenter has no transferable skills. Without being about to use his dominant hand due to Kienbock's disease, the claimant obviously could no longer perform has past relevant manual labor. Under the medical-vocational rules, the claimant had to be found disabled even if he were physically capable of sedentary work.