Functional Capacity Evaluations

FCE Work Comp

So, you got injured at work - Now what?

You are doing Physical Therapy, and are following all the correct steps to heal and get back to your job as soon as possible...

And now you might be asking yourself:

  • “How do I know when I am actually ready to return to work?”

  • “Can I get back to the same duty level as before?”

  • “I don't want to get hurt again, is it safe for me to return to work?”  

This is where FCE’s come in!

A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is a series of tests that we use to determine your ability to participate in your normal job duties. This essentially helps determine your capacity for work following a major injury or surgery. For example, if you hurt your shoulder and need shoulder surgery, you may be off work for a period of time during rehab while you are working to restore the range of motion, strength, and endurance necessary to safely perform normal job duties prior to injury.

FCE's provide data needed to help us make the right recommendations for you return to work safely, including any return to work parameters, special accommodations, and ultimately making a plan you feel confident in.


Who would refer me for a FCE?

  • Typically, a person is referred for a FCE by their physician, insurance company, or lawyer.
  • If you have a referral for a FCE, give us a call and we will talk you through the process and what we may need from you!

How long is the test and what should I bring?  

  • The test is typically between 3-5 hours long.
  • You should wear comfortable clothes that you can move in. Feel free to bring water and a snack as there are breaks afforded during testing.
  • Testing procedures may include walking, lifting, carrying, fine motor tasks, mobility testing, dependent on what you would typically do at work.

Who is administering the FCE?

  • One of our Physical Therapists, who specializes in and is an expert in administering FCE's.

Why is the test so long? 

  • Activities performed during testing are typically repetitive to help simulate what you may need to do in a typical workday (i.e. an 8 hour work day) 

What safety precautions are taken when I am undergoing the test?

  • We monitor vital signs (BP, HR, RR) to maintain safety during testing procedures.

How do you know what to test, exactly?

  • We get to know you and obtain a job description, typically provided by the employer, to determine the physical demand level and specific tasks you are required to participate in for your job.

Will I get hurt during the test?

  • No! Testing is not meant to re-injure the person being tested.
  • We work extremely hard to make sure you are comfortable with what is being asked of you. We pay very close attention to details and any changes in mechanics to determine what is safe to do, and what is not.

Which location are FCE's offered at?

  • We currently offer FCE's at our Four Corners location!

I’m already working, why do I need to do this test? 

  • A FCE can be used to help insurance companies, physicians, or litigators determine if there are any further needs for the person being tested.

Want to learn more about how an FCE can help you?

Speak to an expert today.