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FCE- North Carolina WC Claim
#1
Hi all, I am a 41 year old Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). I work for a home health agency where I drive all day in and out of patients homes doing everything from wound care, to IV infusions. So I do a lot of lifting bending twisting pushing pulling and driving. I injured my back in Sept 2014. MRI showed bulging Disc. My symptoms where lower back pain and numbness and pain down my legs. I had surgery in OCT decompression without infusion. Had one round of Physical therapy. Now my Dr is asking for a FCE. I still have pain and it is actually worse then before surgery. I have been out of work since the injury and WC has not denied me anything as of yet. I am receiving checks weekly and got an attorney early on. I was hoping the surgery would allow me to go back to work being that I LOVE being an nurse. Now I am starting to feel I will never be able to do those things again. I know I can't do it now. I am afraid of this FCE thing. I am reading horror stories about the test saying you can do things that you actually can not do. I read where you are supposed to give a good faith effort but some people say it can re-injure you. Am I supposed to push my self to do the test or should I stop when I feel pain? I do they know if you are in pain other then you telling them so? I mean there is a lot of things I COULD do if I pushed myself..but doing so would cause a lot of pain and may injure me. also I might be able to do something like sit or stand but doing so more then 20 minutes leaves me in a lot of pain. How does the DR determine your disability from this. Is this the last stage before I get a MMI rating?
 
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#2
Not all FCEs are the same.
you'll be given explicit instructions by the examiner before you are expected to perform.
there is no external "pain meter" that indicates patient pain or it's level. pain is subjective and experienced differently by each patient.
generally the patient supplies information about pain level and duration of such activities.
an FCE does not directly measure work comp disability; it's used to measure functional limitations and measure recovery progress and effectiveness of various treatments.
once there is a baseline established future tests can be compared.
it's important that the effort be consistent from one exam to the other.
FCEs are given at different stages in the recovery process; it is not only done prior to a rating.
FCEs are most helpful when rehabilitation in involved in recovery and return to work.

there is a lot of information about functional capacity examinations available on the internet as well as You Tube videos . do a search and research your questions; it should make you more comfortable and less anxious about the process.

here's a sample of information available:
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_q...ation+test
http://fcesoftware.com/fcearticlescharts.html
Reminder :
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information. Use the search feature to find information from similar questions.
THANKS FOR POSTING.
 
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#3
(03-08-2015, 11:45 AM)1171 Wrote: Not all FCEs are the same.
you'll be given explicit instructions by the examiner before you are expected to perform.
there is no external "pain meter" that indicates patient pain or it's level. pain is subjective and experienced differently by each patient.
generally the patient supplies information about pain level and duration of such activities.
an FCE does not directly measure work comp disability; it's used to measure functional limitations and measure recovery progress and effectiveness of various treatments.
once there is a baseline established future tests can be compared.
it's important that the effort be consistent from one exam to the other.
FCEs are given at different stages in the recovery process; it is not only done prior to a rating.
FCEs are most helpful when rehabilitation in involved in recovery and return to work.

there is a lot of information about functional capacity examinations available on the internet as well as You Tube videos . do a search and research your questions; it should make you more comfortable and less anxious about the process.

here's a sample of information available:
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_q...ation+test
http://fcesoftware.com/fcearticlescharts.html

Thank you. My doctor said that I need to talk to my attorney about settlement, then he said This FCE will help with that.
 
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#4
The FCE can help because it should show what you can and can't do. Seems to me if you were injured in Sept 2014 it could be too early to be talking about a settlement. If you are still in pain you should be looking at what can be done to help you get better. You are not going to get rich in a settlement and it will never replace the things in your life that the pain can take away. They want to settle because it is about saving money and they don't want to spend any more of it treating you. They hope since you are a nurse you will be able to find a job making around the same amount you were before so there will not be much of a settlement if anything at all. Push for them to find out what is wrong and how to fix it, or reduce the pain level.
 
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#5
So I had my FCE and it was ROUGH!!! OMG I was in so much pain afterward and still feel residual. From two weeks ago. I ask my DR for stronger medication with no luck. I did the best I could do and even pushed myself to do what I know I couldn't do on an ongoing basis. The reality of this thing is REALLY sinking in that I may not be able to do what I love to do anymore. Dr gave me permanent restrictions of light duty. So my current job is a Wrap! I started out with a 4 pain scale and left with a 8.5 by the time I was home it was a full blown 10 for more the 4 hours. Anyway I though I would give an update. I saw the report and the interviewer was straight forward and truthful and reported EVERYTHING I said and did. Even when I didn't realize she was writing stuff down. Thank you all for the advice.
 
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#6
yes, thankx much for the update.
sounds like the FCE was helpful to both you and your doctor in trying to establish your limitations.
that's all that can be expected of such a process.
Reminder :
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information. Use the search feature to find information from similar questions.
THANKS FOR POSTING.
 
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#7
I forgot to mention that the Dr also referred me to pain management since there was nothing more he could do for me as far as pain goes, so I am just waiting on that to be scheduled. My Lawyer doesn't seemed to think I would be very successful in finding employment that meets my condition or my nursing Status. (In my experience and with the current state of the economy you most likely will not find anything with in your work restrictions or pay scale this all will be taken into consideration) Lawyers words. So I guess I wait.


(03-09-2015, 11:54 AM)Manley2 Wrote: The FCE can help because it should show what you can and can't do. Seems to me if you were injured in Sept 2014 it could be too early to be talking about a settlement. If you are still in pain you should be looking at what can be done to help you get better. You are not going to get rich in a settlement and it will never replace the things in your life that the pain can take away. They want to settle because it is about saving money and they don't want to spend any more of it treating you. They hope since you are a nurse you will be able to find a job making around the same amount you were before so there will not be much of a settlement if anything at all. Push for them to find out what is wrong and how to fix it, or reduce the pain level.

 
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