Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)
The FCE is a full body comprehensive medical test used to measure an employee’s functional capacity and assist in injury management, whether the injury was sustained while at work or existed previously. The FCE test may be used alone to document existing impairments or may be used in combination with the Post-Offer Comprehensive test as a comparison against original, baseline data.
One FCE should be given at the time of injury to determine severity and legitimacy for optimum injury management. Another FCE should be administered during rehabilitation to determine progress, and one functional capacity evaluation should be conducted post-rehabilitation to determine the employee’s ability to return to his or her job.
At the time of injury, when compared against data previously collected, the FCE may be used to prove consistency and validity of performance and create realistic, objective rehabilitation goals, return to work recommendations, or work conditioning programs to capitalize on injury management procedures. This information is invaluable to objectively move the patient through the system in a fair and timely manner.
Patients that suffer from work-related injuries may meet the treatment goals of physical therapy but cannot return to work due to deconditioning (being out of shape).
Work conditioning programs, which often simulate the demands of a given job description, are designed to help patients with the following:
- Recover their strength
- Improve endurance
- Increase flexibility & mobility
- Improve cardiorespiratory fitnes
- Personalized interventions are also provided to decrease the odds of re-injury upon return work
Typically, these programs consist of personalized, full-body, intensive training with a focus on the activities that are similar to the physical demands required by a particular category of employment.