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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    9

    Default Functional Capacity Evaluation Test

    I had my 2nd back surgery in Nov. 2006. still have severe pain lower back, left hip,left leg & foot. surgeon released me to pain management clinic in my town, said his treatment was over unless I needed more surgery, told me and workers-comp in Jan.'07 that minimal recovery time was 18 months. workers-comp has been trying to get him to do disability rating for last 3 weeks, he said no that was up to pain management Dr. well he has since changed his mind and ordered the FCE. I have looked up FCE and have read a little about the test. not sure of what all it consists of, I have read in several places that they are not concerned with if you are in pain just that you can do the activities. what do I HAVE to do? how far am I required to push myself feeling it hurting myself? example: I have a 9 month grandson weighs 24 lbs. I can't lift him, my daughter can set him on my lap but when he gets to jumping around and I try to hang on to him I feel in in my back and all the way down my leg, it's like an air hose is hooked up to me and is filling my L leg and foot up. it throbs and feels swollen all the time anyway but when I do things I feel the pressure increase as well as the pain. If I try to lift him I really hurt, they tell me I still have bulging disc's that workers-comp won't let the Dr. fix if not ruptured, that are against the nerve, when I do something simple I feel it for 3 or 4 days before I get some relief. Am I supposed to push myself in this test to the point of hurting myself? the surgeon has told me and workers-comp that I would never return to old job. he told them before surgery and after. I just wonder about the test and how gruelling it is? and what my rights are? I don't have a problem with the idea of working again it's just at what type of job? I've been a truck driver for 20+ yrs. don't have anyother skills. worked at this job last 12 yrs. it is a garbage co. hauling dumpsters to land-fill or emptying small dumpsters at local restaurants till truck full then go empty. Employer says job discription is driver, there is a whole lot more to it than just driving, like climbing on dumpsters and leveling load so a tarp can be put on it, then get down and hook big steel cable to hook under front of it to load on truck, then at the landfill push or pull this big steel door that weighs 2 to 3 hundred lbs. open to dump load then close it, take it back and do it all over again at another site. to say the job is driving is way off from the actual labor involved. if test shows I can't return to this type of work like the Dr. has said many times I understand workers-comp has to train me for whatever the FCE says I can do,( which in my opinion isn't much). is this true?? do my checks stop after the FCE, they told me I would have a follow-up with Dr. a few weeks after the test for MMI & rating. is that when the checks stop? if they have to train me for something else do I still get to draw a check?? Pain management Dr. said I need pain management and med's for rest of my life and was 100% disabled, workers-comp says he isn't qualified to do the impairment rating. I don't have a problem with working if there is something I can do just know I can't do what I have been doing last 12 yrs. and feel like I'm going to get screwed with this test if they don't care if it hurts to lift this box as long as I can lift it, even though I know I'm only doing more damage to myself. any advise on what to expect and how much I have to do? thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: functional capacity evaluation test

    You should genuinely push yourself to the limits you can during this test. They are watching your performance for inconsistencies in your effort, in order to manipulate the situation to say that you are faking.

    If you are having trouble, you should tell them. You can push as much as you can, but you should not do anything that would result in further injury.

    The FCE is really just a way for the treating doctor to push off the responsibility for deciding what your permanent restrictions are onto someone else.

    Given what you are saying about your condition, if you do not have an attorney, I would strongly suggest that you consider retaining an experienced WC attorney in your area.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: functional capacity evaluation test

    I have had an attorney since before surgery. he tells me definately I am eligable for perminent disability, am on my 3rd appeal. waiting on court date for that. just feel like my employer and WC are pushing for this to close my case. employer keeps calling to find out how much longer, and to tell me they have to pay a higher premium on their insurance for next 2 yrs. because of my claim and won't be able to give raises this year because of same. I know my limits and can feel when I do something that is going to cause disc to bulge more against nerve and have to lay for days to get over it, so I guess that's how far to go on the test, till I feel that. 3 Dr.'s tell me I have perminent unrepairable nerve damage. on large doses of pain meds, and for depression.

    thanks for the reply

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: functional capacity evaluation test

    Snuffy they'll tell you that there goes the bonuses and raises this year wheather whose falt that is don't let that bother you.They are justtrying to use that as anexcuse take care of yourself and don't worry about that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Functional Capacity Evaluation Test

    I have just recently had an FCE and I can tell you that it is going to be very painful, because I am still suffering from the same symptoms I had before my lumbar fusion, at the start of the test they will hook you up to something to monitor your heart rate, this is to determine if you are putting forth an effort. You will will be asked to perform tasks such as bending, squatting and walking all with light weight in the begging and progressively heavier weight as the test goes on. It is important that you tell the examiner when the weight is to much for you to continue and when your pain levels reach the point of severe, and with your symptoms that wont take long. The examiner may ask if you want to stop your exam or if you want to continue, try to go on only if you can, but if the pain is to much the FCE may be stopped by the examiner, they may take pictures or even video tape your FCE, standard procedure, to make sure you are using the correct lifting techniques. I went to my doctor after I had my FCE and basically all he does is your impairment rating after looking over the FCE and medical records. I think you TTD checks continue for 60 days after your impairment rating is sent to IC. so dont expect the IC to hurry and settle the claim, if they do then great, dont get hopes up.GOOD LUCK

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    775

    Default Re: Functional Capacity Evaluation Test

    For what it's worth. There has never been a scientific validation for the concept of an FCE. THere is no medical evidence that heart rate monitors effort. There has been no court ruling in any jurisdiction that has accepeted the validity of FCE. There is no standarization of the FCE and no comparison validity among all the various FCE's out there.

    In a nutshell, they are completely and utterly worthless , tell no one anything and have no application to the real world other that the provider does get to charge a lot of money.

    We physicians have been telling this to the Insurance world for almost 20 years since the first ones, the infamous B200 machine, came out. You will never find a physician who attributes any validity to an FCE and there is absolutely no correlation between and FCE and job ability in any well done study.

    I would recommend refusal until you can be shown that you will not be harmed physically and can be shown that there is a valid reason to do the test. It's junk science at it's worse.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    cincinnati,ohio
    Posts
    761

    Default Re: Functional Capacity Evaluation Test

    Quote Quoting POR View Post
    For what it's worth. There has never been a scientific validation for the concept of an FCE. THere is no medical evidence that heart rate monitors effort. There has been no court ruling in any jurisdiction that has accepeted the validity of FCE. There is no standarization of the FCE and no comparison validity among all the various FCE's out there.

    In a nutshell, they are completely and utterly worthless , tell no one anything and have no application to the real world other that the provider does get to charge a lot of money.

    We physicians have been telling this to the Insurance world for almost 20 years since the first ones, the infamous B200 machine, came out. You will never find a physician who attributes any validity to an FCE and there is absolutely no correlation between and FCE and job ability in any well done study.

    I would recommend refusal until you can be shown that you will not be harmed physically and can be shown that there is a valid reason to do the test. It's junk science at it's worse.
    POR, why do the BWC, and MCO request the FCE to be done then. other than another bull-crap tool to use to beat up the injured workers. i feel that those with back injury's should not be subjected to the FCE. the system should already know what limits we have. they already know of our life long chronic pain. they will just not admit it. i will be doing FCE in about 4 weeks, they decided to give me 4-6 weeks of therapy before the FCE. voc rehab is very big and pushing the FCE's. it in reality just a tool to use to be rid of ya.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    775

    Default Re: Functional Capacity Evaluation Test

    Hubert;
    BWC would never request one. They never institute testing or care. Now a voc specialsit may, in conversation with the phsyician cocnerning rtw matters ask if he wants one done but the BWC doesn't really care one way or the other.

    The MCOs don't know any better and think that it's anotehr tool to move a case forward to some sort of conclusion and I guess it may serve that purpose but not so far as the actual result of the test. Just the fact that the IW is now involved in thinking of going back to work at some lessor capacity as you never do one on a recovered IW right ?

    The "system" doesn't know anything. Any reasonable Dr. knows but I never see what the results of any FCE are actually used for. Are they used inb conversation with teh IW in what types of jobs to look for ? I also am not aware of any penalties for refusing to participate in an FCE but that doesn't mean there none. For the msot padrt they are done at or near MMI so it's not going to affect TTD I presume.

    WHo knows really. I even have one in my office that some vendor put there and sends a PT in from God knows where to do FCE's Once in awhile I even see one of my patints there but I can't say as I've ever ordered more than 4 or 5 in twenty years of treating and returning IW to work. I think the voc people think it's useful. I cannot inagine for waht though. Call your's up and balk at doing it and see what she says

    So - your guess is as good as mine.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Functional Capacity Evaluation Test

    POR,how does one go about refusing this test I have a cirvicle injury c-4through c-7 and have had enough pain and not going to put up with any needless or useless pain for anyones excuses.So please a little advice on how to best to refuse this useless excuse of a test.Thank you HL.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Functional Capacity Evaluation Test

    I just finished my FCE today took 2 days 2 hrs each day the guy that did it was very concerned that i did not exceed my limits he let me decide the wieghts and my heaviest was 12 lbs and lowest 5 lbs they watch you the whole time and and if your really hurt they can tell.

    I was told my FCE guy that since I am on medication he could not see me working and that I might be able to work every other day up to maybe 4 hrs
    with a lot of restrictions limited sit stand walking 5 lb lifting I do admit I was in pain and exausted also the ALJ Judge is waiting for the report to make his decision on SSDI 2 year wait.

    Also do not take you medication for this test I cut myself off 2 days before and that was ruff.

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