From the Board of Veteran Appeals case # 025322:
The Court has held that, when a diagnostic code provides for compensation based upon limitation of motion, the provisions of 38 C.F.R. §§ 4.40 and 4.45 (1999) must also be considered, and that examinations upon which the rating decisions are based must adequately portray the extent of functional loss due to pain "on use or due to flare-ups." DeLuca v. Brown, 8 Vet. App. 202, 206 (1995).
( BVA cases can be searched and viewed at http://www.index.va.gov/search/va/bva.html
Paragraphs 4.40 and 4.45 of the VASRD (AKA 38 C.F.R., part 4) http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/tex...686fc0a&rgn
4.40 Functional loss.
Disability of the musculoskeletal system is primarily the inability, due to damage or infection in parts of the system, to perform the normal working movements of the body with normal excursion, strength, speed, coordination and endurance. It is essential that the examination on which ratings are based adequately portray the anatomical damage, and the functional loss, with respect to all these elements. The functional loss may be due to absence of part, or all, of the necessary bones, joints and muscles, or associated structures, or to deformity, adhesions, defective innervation, or other pathology, or it may be due to pain, supported by adequate pathology and evidenced by the visible behavior of the claimant undertaking the motion. Weakness is as important as limitation of motion, and a part which becomes painful on use must be regarded as seriously disabled. A little used part of the musculoskeletal system may be expected to show evidence of disuse, either through atrophy, the condition of the skin, absence of normal callosity or the like.
4.45 The joints.
As regards the joints the factors of disability reside in reductions of their normal excursion of movements in different planes. Inquiry will be directed to these considerations:
(a) Less movement than normal (due to ankylosis, limitation or blocking, adhesions, tendon-tie-up, contracted scars, etc.).
(b) More movement than normal (from flail joint, resections, nonunion of fracture, relaxation of ligaments, etc.).
(c) Weakened movement (due to muscle injury, disease or injury of peripheral nerves, divided or lengthened tendons, etc.).
(d) Excess fatigability.
(e) Incoordination, impaired ability to execute skilled movements smoothly.
(f) Pain on movement, swelling, deformity or atrophy of disuse. Instability of station, disturbance of locomotion, interference with sitting, standing and weight-bearing are related considerations. For the purpose of rating disability from arthritis, the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle are considered major joints; multiple involvements of the interphalangeal, metacarpal and carpal joints of the upper extremities, the interphalangeal, metatarsal and tarsal joints of the lower extremities, the cervical vertebrae, the dorsal vertebrae, and the lumbar vertebrae, are considered groups of minor joints, ratable on a parity with major joints. The lumbosacral articulation and both sacroiliac joints are considered to be a group of minor joints, ratable on disturbance of lumbar spine functions.
Do not count on your local VA officials to know or do this. Ensure they use the VA Physician's Worksheets during exams to capture the information needed for rating under the provisions of paragraphs 4.40 and 4.45 above as well as other applicable criteria of the VASRD .