Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE) refers to an assessment process which
includes a combination of physical tests and observations. As the name
suggests, these are conducted to evaluate the functional capability of
an individual following an injury or surgery. In this process, a thorough
evaluation is done to check for the employee’s physical condition
and assess if he can return to his occupational routine. Also, it determines
the the number of hours that the employee may be able to work besides
any changes required at the workplace.
What It Includes?
FCE procedure includes a variety of tests and processes as enlisted below:
- The ability to bend
- Ability to hold or grasp things
- Duration for which the person can sit or stand comfortably
- The capacity to lift weight
- The power to push or pull objects
- Body balancing ability
- MET- Metabolic equivalents which measure the performance of the heart and
the circulatory system
- Tests to check the coordination between the hands and eyes
- Cognitive testing
Depending on the nature of the patient’s job, he may be asked to
walk, sit, stand, stoop, use the stairs, kneel, lift weights, reach out
to objects etc. The physical therapist may ask the patient to stop as
soon as there is any discomfort or when the required level of testing
is reached. The patient may also be questioned about the mode, time and
severity of injury besides the activities which aggravate pain or discomfort.
Benefits Of Functional Capacity Evaluation
- Employees who have been on a leave from work from a long time due to a
medical problem can get their physical fitness levels assessed when they
want to resume work. This helps the employer to evaluate the amount and
type of work that can be performed efficiently.
- FCE can be conducted before a surgery to assess the patient’s endurance
levels and decide if it is safe to proceed with the surgical procedure.
This is particularly important for surgeries which may involve blood loss.
- FCE helps the physical therapists in designing a rehabilitation plan for
the patient. It may also be helpful in examining the progress made by
the patient post-rehabilitation
- It helps in assessing the loss of functional abilities of employees who
have suffered an accident at the workplace. This is beneficial in settling
medical claims and wage loss compensation for both the employee as well
as the employer.
- People who wish to avail social security disability benefits can get their
- Those applying for a job post illness or an accident can get their functional
capacity evaluated and submit the reports to the prospective employer
- Insurance claims can be settled on the basis of FCE reports
The physical therapists at OrthoTexas perform functional capacity evaluations
to help patients safely get back to work after an injury or surgery. To
schedule an appointment with the therapists in Plano, TX, you can call
at (972) 985 – 1072.