workers compensation

Functional Capacity Evaluation

Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is an objective and comprehensive assessment that determines an employee’s ability to perform on-the-job responsibilities as well as activities of daily living after suffering trauma or disease that might impede his/her function. An FCE is an important tool in deciding when an employee can safely return to work following illness or injury.

The components of an FCE are:
  • Patient’s self-described level of pain and disability
  • Detailed medical history
  • Examination of musculoskeletal system
  • Material-handling tests to evaluate ability to lift, carry, push and pull
  • Movement tests to evaluate ability to walk, reach and climb, and level of dexterity
  • Positional tolerance tests to evaluate ability to stand and sit
  • Evaluation of aerobic capacity
  • Material, movement or positional tests customized to the patient’s industry
  • Analysis of information including patient’s level of effort
  • Report that draws conclusions about the patient’s abilities based on the above evaluations

Patients should know this is a 3-4 hour test. They should wear sneakers and comfortable clothing. Also, the patient should be reminded to take their medication prescribed by their doctor prior to the test.