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My Doc Says I Need an FCE.....What’s That?

Acronyms can be very annoying. People who use them assume that everyone else knows what he or she is talking about...when many times the person being spoken to does not! Workers’ Comp lawyers are the worst about using acronyms and the “comp world” is chock full of them. I admit I am guilty of over using acronyms myself.


A common acronym in the comp world is “FCE”. FCE stands for Functional Capacity Examination. This examination takes place at a physical therapy office where the therapist puts the patient through a litany of physical tests related to the specific injury. These examinations are usually quite lengthy often taking four hours up to a full day. The examiner/physical therapist will provide the treating doctor with a lengthy report about the results and an opinion about the level of work the patient is capable of performing. The doctors generally rubber stamp the reports, accepting all the therapist says as a given.


Workers’ comp cases hinge on the opinions of the doctor. Prior to discussing settlement of a case, we must have a final medical opinion from the doctor that says the patient/client has improved medically as much as they are going to improve. The Functional Capacity Examination provides valuable information to help your attorney further evaluate the value of your case.


One word of caution. If your doctor sends you for a functional capacity exam always do your best and be honest. If an exercise hurts, it’s ok to let the therapist know but don’t try to make it look worse than it is. In other words, don’t exaggerate.


Have a great rest of the week!

Kevin


“Love more, judge less.” -JKR

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