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functional capacity evaluation
Hello everyone. My name is Mary and I am 45 yrs old. I have had 3 laminectomies and 1 dicectomy on my lower back. I am in constant lower back and left leg pain. Now I've noticed the pain in the right leg, but not as bad as left leg. After 2 years W/C finally picked up my claim. My question is does anyone know anything about this functional capacity evaluation? What it is? What you are required to do and how does this affect your W/C. I know my letter stated I would be required to bend, lift, stand and those are things that I never do, especially the bending and lifting. Is this a way of W/C getting out the claim? Should I do everything they say to do even if it hurts or what should I do? I don't understand how W/C works, so any information that you guys(girls) can offer me would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Mary, I do not know a lot about the FCE other than what I have learned on this forum. First let me welcome you to the forum, it is the best on the website and you will find that their experts and IW expert that are here and able to answer most of your questons.

What I have heard on this forum and through reading on the net is that the FCE is used to determine a rating. This rating can be from 0 - 100%. You should never do more than you can do with out pain when doing this test is my understanding. That is how they can determine your true rating. Also, if Bad Boy comes a long he can tell you more and he would tell you to tell them you only want a computer generated FCE, this way the rating is not based on a persons experience and observation but on your actual preformance.

Good luck...and others will be a long shortly to give you much better answers than I can do... good luck. Red
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
FCE = functional capacity exam. Weather computer generated or not is subjective. The purpose of the fce is so that it is noted what you can and can not do. I do believe in the theory that one should not take pain killers pryer to the exam. Do what you can and stop when you can do no more. When I finished with my second one I had to do four different questionaires. My fce was so detailed that they noted while doing the questionaire I was shifting my body weight due to the pain.

My injury was to the lower back. During the fce I had to pick a box off the floor and put it on a shelf, pick up a box off the floor and carry it 50ft, then put it back on the floor, rearrange magazines on a shelf over my head, crawl on the floor, stand in one place and reach to the left and pick up cones then twist to the right and set them on a cart, kneel on the floor and work with my hands, climb a ladder, push a sled with weight. All that after doing the computer generated part, witch measured muscel strenth.

I hope all of that does not scare you. But you did ask. One thing to keep in mind is that altho it may appeare that they are in control. They are not. You are. They will incourage you to push yourself, but only you know how much pain you are in.

My fce was months ago. My restrictions from my ortho and neuro differ greatly from the fce report. After my fce I spent three days heavily seadated. It is just part of the process. I guess what I am trying to say is, push yourself. Just don't push to hard. As long as you are honest with yourself during the exam all will be fine. Take Care
8-05, Micro laminectomy/disectomy. 10-05 lumbar fusion L5-S1. 2-07 exploritory surgery. 12-07 medical implant, Spinal Cord Stimulator. now receiving SSDI. After going back to school, I received my degree as a mechanical engineer. What can I say, it was the only way I had to beat the system. 
Below are a few quotes about the computer generated FCE ( Functional Capacity Evaluation ), which is the way to go--none of that ancient stuff! Also on the search bar above you can type in FCE or Functional Capacity Evaluation which will take you to helpful messages regarding FCE's. You should also search the Archived Forum. Also, here are some links supplied by Bad Boy regarding this type of FCE:

Besides the computer generated FCE, one of the most important tips I can tell you is to STOP the moment you experience any hint of elevated pain during the exam. Don't push yourself beyond your limits no matter what. Don't let anyone tell you to do so. All you should do is the best you are capable of. Period. It's advisable, too, like AQA said in so many words, not to take any meds prior to the FCE. You want to get a true reading, see?

QUOTES from the past:
Bad Boy Bad Boy Wrote:Wink, just so you know. One of my WC Attorney friends called today to see how I was, and what was new with me. He isn't my Attorney, but a friend I help out from time to time. A good Attorney, but after 25 years in business has been getting selective now. Which is still ok. We talked about the Computer Operated FCE you told me you had done, then I went and had mine done. I gave him the complete information about it, and where I had mine done. I explained how it's the best FCE a IW could ever get. He loves it. I sold him on it. He looked up the placed I went to, and called me back, and thanked me for this information. He didn't know the Computer Operated ones where as good as they claimed to be, till we talked, and he called them. Needless to say, 3 more Attorneys called me afterwards, all WC Attorneys. They asked if they all, plus my friend, could see my copy of the Computer Operated FCE. I said sure, if they would sign a letter stating it would never be released by them till my name and my information was off the report papers. They faxed the letter to me. I faxed them the 53 pages today. Pat yourself on the back buddy, we are making head way with this FCE now. Atleast in ILLINOIS that is....

wink Wrote:Bad Boy~
That's great! I'm happy those lawyers are taking notice. I, for one, KNOW that the Computer Generated FCE proved beyond a shadow of any doubt my aches, pains, what I could do and what I couldn't do. There was no room left whatsoever for the IC to squirmy up a defense against my true disability. As you and I factfully know, this type of FCE will either prove one is malingering or prove one is not. And in our defense, this was one of the most necessary and important procedures taken to make our cases more sound, solid and true.

Bad Boy Bad Boy Wrote:I don't think it was being aware of it so much. It was the way I talked about the difference between a Human being paid by the IC, compared to the IC paying for a Computer to do the thinking, which is almost mistake free then, is what they were after more. They were impressed after hearing how the control factor is then removed. But then again, if a person then shows good results, nothing then can be done. It's almost a no-fault system, compared to human error and human judgement, and human opinion, that is selling them.

One other thing - if they insist on pushing you and you do injure yourself - where it says who to contact in case of emergency write 911 - most places as bad boy will tell you - don't want you leaving their place via ambulance.

As the others have said - the computerized FCE is the way to go as it is more subjective to the real thing a person can and cannot do. It is then up to the doctor to give restrictions. The test can also be used to see how you are healing and to what point you are at besides for a rating - normally it's used for a rating if you are placed at MMI or P&S.

The thing is if you are unable to do a test for any reason and you have to stop before the test is done - make sure they write in why. Also if you do complete a test and then have to rest between tests which they tell you is ok - but you need that rest - remember in an 8 hour day you won't get a break every hour - make sure that they note that as well - i.e. leg went numb etc. With my FCE they didn't note all of this even though I would complete a test that I needed to rest between tasks. Then the doctor set my restrictions higher than what the FCE said I was able to do.

When the SSDI FCE evaluator reviewed my records for their FCE evaluation they took all my medical records into account along with the FCE that was done and actually came up with closer restrictions that I have always had perm for my shoulders.
Hi Mary...Welcome to the forum. You did a good thing by joining this wonderful group. I'm not knowlegdeable with the WC stuff...but I did want to say WELCOME. Sounds like you have been through alot with WC...and I am sorry to hear that...but you will find alot of guidance here and alot of support. Please make your way down to the "Off Topic" section of the board..there you will find we meet up and have fun...talk...offer support so if you just need to vent or have a good joke...or just about anything that is where it is. We even play a few play a few games...right now we are just getting ready to start a Bingo game...and we would love to have you join us...it just helps to offer something different then the daily stress and pain that we all deal with. So come on down and introduce yourself...we would love to get to know you. As for the FCE...I haven't done one as of yet...and I am sure with all the you have talked about with your back...it will not be easy for you...so please come down to the "Off Topic" section let us know when you are to do this...we can offer you alot of support...just so you know you are not alone as you go through all this. Remember most of are also injuried worker too...so we understand what you are feeling...So WELCOME again....
I don't know what state you are in, but in PA this is beyond the type of exam that can be ordered by the i/c. If you do decide to go, I would talk to your treating doctor and have him schedule the FCE with a facility he trusts.
Plus this Thread from the off Topic Board;

My comment to that Theard;

RE: AQA, Wink & Bad Boy Everyone that has done FCE

Spring, it is my opinion that each and every person performing an FCE will never be the same as the next person. This is why Wink, myself and others, truely support the Computer operated FCE. The computer operated one, monitor's you constantly, meaning heart rate and pluse. For when you perform the Human person performing the FCE, they only monitor you at the start and end of each task, so as you see, they are missing what goes on, with your heart rate and puluse while performing the task at hand. Pain will increase ones heart rate, and once that gets to 20% above the normal high rate as it is writen and programed, it tells the operater to stop you right there. In either type FCE, I never had them help me, as you can see, how can the computer help you up. So there both performed in the same manner mostly. You always tell either one, when pain increased enough to make you want to stop. ( Medications, I stopped on my last one, took them the one before, and it showed I was Hulk Hogan or Superman, then the one before that I didn't take the Meds, and the report was very close to the last one, computer operated.) being said and the trend I show with the Medications, you can see such a big difference in taking the medications. Now if that isn't a good example, I like someone to say different. For the FCE taken with medications is bitting me in the butt right now with my settlement, and I'm left to explain myself. But as you can see that isn't hard for me to do, and I have proof of why I had to take my medications that one time at that FCE, for the time it was set up, they left me little time to come down off the meds in a timely safe fashion. Like having to wing of them, must my meds are that way. You always hope and pray you get a person like Sithie had on her last FCE, but lets remember that is far and few between. Now also remember the fact of human error and error in human judgement VS little error from the computer being pre-programmed with human judgement in advance to your FCE. FCE's are to be objective.

Now here is some truth also. If you go to an FCE, and your angry about something, or they make you angry before you start, your juices are flowing, making you high strung before you even start. Or maybe someone cut you off the road on the way there, or your still T'd off at your employer, or anything that has set you off. Then as it happened to me, I can say this, as I said I was on medications the second to last FCE. I was T'd off about how they set the date up, I was T'd off for I knew who was going to perform the FCE, but I did request a different person perform it. Needless to say, the heart rate is up some, which now will change the upper high rate and 20% value over the high rate, for they use a simple chart is all. As you can see your starting out already on the wrong foot. Now because of not only the meds, but my being angry, the juices flowing, you take this FCE out on yourself, without you knowing what your doing to yourself. So end results will show you performed very well. But I did report on-going pain during, and afterwards, having to be force before I leave to apply ice to my knee for I could hardly walk, extreme lower back pain, and upper muscle around the neck and shoulders so tight they might stop a speeding bullet. Being said they do a one time, day or two later follow up call. I told them about all I said above plus meds were not helping. I was trying my home PT as taught for flare up, ICE and Heat. Guess what, it has never went away, so as you now see, I suffer from the Human FCE now. This is a primary Example of what your Employer's IC's hopes happens to you. Their Attorney's will eat it up, and you best do what I did, and pay for a total Independent FCE Computer Operated, to show the difference between the two, or you may get stuck in a position you don't want to be in.

Sorry for any(SP)'s




Note; This thread in my Opinion should be on the Injured Workers Board...
Reply's are intended solely for informational purposes. They are based on personal opinions, experience, or research and are "not to be taken as fact or legal advice", otherwise, always consult an attorney or a doctor.
Another note;

FCE's are used as a medical tool. The Doctor uses them to watch your progress during your healing peiod.That was why, they claimed I had performed so many.

It is also my opinion, that before anyone does perform a FCE that they do get a report from their treating Doctor, or even their private treating, or even both, to state one is capable medically to perform a FCE. And if there need to be any restrictions on such FCE to be performed, ones Doctor/s should make and apply that on such report, and send it to the place performing such FCE. You obtain a copy of that for your records, make copies, send one to the IC Adjuster, Nurse Case manager, and bring one with you to the FCE place and hand it to them. If you have an Attorney, send a copy to them also.
Reply's are intended solely for informational purposes. They are based on personal opinions, experience, or research and are "not to be taken as fact or legal advice", otherwise, always consult an attorney or a doctor.
Very interesting about FCE's. But.....I find that even one days worth of testing would not be that reliable for estimating an IW's stamina and abilities of "lasting power". When I was working, I started out on Mondays ok....but was shot by Wednsday. Thurs & Fri were a great struggle.
Still not a fair observance if you ask me.
Injured worker, & tired of it all! I'm too old for games!!

A careless word may kindle strife, a cruel word may wreck a life, a timely word may level stress, and a loving word may heal and bless!

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