A FCE is a physical test typically conducted by a physical therapist or occupational therapist. At a FCE, you will perform activities like lifting, walking, climbing stairs, reaching, gripping objects and balancing. The purpose of the test is to make recommendations as to appropriate restrictions or limitations for you. As you near the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI) in your medical care, some doctors will prescribe an FCE to assist them in setting permanent physical restrictions.
The quality of an FCE can vary tremendously based on the experience, skill and bias of the therapist conducting it. We believe some FCE providers are biased and favor the insurance companies who send them constant business. Others FCE providers try to evaluate fairly the injured worker. The results of an FCE can be very important to determining the compensation owed you. This is an area where an attorney who possesses experience with workers’ compensation benefits as well as these tests, can provide detailed advice. We have spent years studying these tests and researching the various providers.