Functional Capacity Evaluation

Functional Capacity Evaluation

Get back to work and the activities you love with Axes Physical Therapy in St. Louis.

Functional capacity evaluation in Greater St. Louis. Functional capacity evaluations (FCE) play a crucial role in ensuring a safe and effective return to work for St. Louis individuals who have experienced workplace injuries. At Axes Physical Therapy, we specialize in providing comprehensive evaluations that help St. Louis residents get back to the activities they love and get back to work, providing for their families and supporting the community. Our goal is not just to assess your injury and recovery, but to get you back to your best you safely and with confidence in your abilities.

If you’re looking for a functional capacity evaluation in St. Louis, call the Axes location nearest you or schedule an appointment online today.

What is a Functional Capacity Evaluation?

A functional capacity evaluation is a comprehensive battery of performance-based tests that are used to determine the ability of an individual to function in various capacities, especially in the context of employment. It’s useful for St. Louis physicians, physical therapists, and occupational therapists to determine an individual’s capacity for work and other daily activities. This evaluation is particularly crucial for individuals recovering from a work-related injury or illness, aiming to return to work or seeking adjustments to their work tasks based on their current functional ability.

Here are some key aspects of functional capacity evaluations in St. Louis:

  • Purpose: The primary goal of a functional capacity evaluation is to evaluate physical abilities in relation to job duties or daily activities. It’s frequently used in cases of workers’ compensation to determine if an employee can return to work after an injury, or what modifications may be necessary to accommodate their current capabilities.
  • Components: A functional capacity evaluation typically includes tests that measure physical strength, endurance, flexibility, and range of motion. It also evaluates the ability to perform task-specific functions such as lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling.
  • Duration: The evaluation can last several hours to a full day, depending on the complexity of the individual’s condition and the specific requirements of the job or activities being assessed.
  • Results: The outcome of a functional capacity evaluation can help in creating rehabilitation goals, determining if an individual can safely return to work, establishing disability claims, or in legal cases to define the extent of an injury.
  • Use in Rehabilitation: Besides employment contexts, functional capacity evaluations are used in rehabilitation settings to monitor progress and update treatment plans according to the patient’s recovery or changes in functional status.

The results from a functional capacity evaluation can significantly influence the course of treatment and rehabilitation. They provide definitive data that can help St. Louis healthcare providers, employers, insurance companies, and other relevant parties make informed decisions about a worker’s readiness to return to work and the type of accommodations that might be needed to facilitate this return. By understanding the functional limitations and capabilities, everyone involved can work together to create a supportive and effective work environment that accommodates an individual’s recovery needs in St. Louis while maintaining productivity.

At Axes Physical Therapy in St. Louis, the functional capacity evaluation process leverages the Bio-Ergonomics FCE system developed by Vic Zuccarello. This system integrates an understanding of biomechanics with ergonomics to offer a peer-reviewed, scientifically valid, and legally defensible evaluation. This detailed approach ensures that the evaluation is not only thorough but also tailored to the individual’s specific job requirements in St. Louis and health status, facilitating a smoother transition back to work.

What to Expect During Your Functional Capacity Evaluation in St. Louis

Undergoing a functional capacity evaluation in St. Louis at Axes Physical Therapy involves a systematic process tailored to comprehensively assess your physical capabilities with respect to your job demands. Here is what you can expect during the evaluation:

  • Pre-Evaluation Interview: A discussion about your medical history, specific job requirements, and any concerns you may have.
  • Standardized Testing: Involves a series of tests that assess your physical strength, endurance, flexibility, and other abilities relevant to your work.
  • Specific Task Simulation: Engage in work-related tasks that mimic the actual activities you would perform on the job. These might include lifting weights, reaching, carrying, or other physical maneuvers.
  • Cardiovascular Assessment: Measures your stamina and cardiovascular health, particularly your ability to perform sustained activities.
  • Data Analysis and Reporting: After the evaluation, the data collected is analyzed to create a comprehensive report that outlines your capabilities and any limitations.

These steps ensure a thorough assessment, providing critical data to help plan your return to work or adjust your work activities based on your current functional capacity.

St. Louis Functional Capacity Evaluations and Workplace Injury Recovery

A functional capacity evaluation is instrumental in the recovery and reintegration process for St. Louis individuals who have suffered workplace injuries. By assessing an individual’s physical abilities in a detailed and scientifically validated manner, functional capacity evaluations serve multiple critical roles in the context of occupational health and safety. Here’s how the functional capacity evaluation impacts various stakeholders involved in workplace injury recovery:

  • Guidance for Physicians: Doctors rely on the objective data from functional capacity evaluations to better understand the extent of an injury and to recommend appropriate medical or rehabilitation measures. It helps in planning further treatment by outlining physical limitations and capacities.
  • Decision-Making Tool for Employers: Employers benefit from a functional capacity evaluations as they provide a clear assessment of an employee’s functional status, informing decisions regarding the necessity for job accommodations, modifications, or even a change in role to suit the employee’s current capabilities.
  • Support for Insurance and Legal Considerations: Insurance companies and legal professionals use functional capacity evaluation results to make informed decisions about claims related to workers’ compensation. The Bio-Ergonomics FCE ensures that the evaluations are defensible in court, providing robust evidence that supports or disputes a claim.
  • Reassurance for the Injured Worker: For you, a functional capacity evaluation offers a credible, transparent assessment of what activities you can safely perform, reducing the risk of re-injury by prematurely returning to work without appropriate accommodations. This process helps in setting realistic expectations and aids in their psychological recovery, knowing that their return to work is handled with care and precision.
  • Collaboration Among Parties: Functional capacity evaluation facilitate a collaborative approach to an injured worker’s return to work. By providing a common understanding of an employee’s functional abilities, it helps align the goals of healthcare providers, employers, and insurance carriers, ensuring that all parties are working towards the most effective recovery plan.

Axes Physical Therapy’s Approach to Functional Capacity Evaluations in St. Louis

Axes Physical Therapy’s approach to functional capacity evaluation is distinguished by its adoption of the Bio-Ergonomics FCE system, developed by Vic Zuccarello in 2005. This method the gold standard for FCE and work rehabilitation in St. Louis and the bi-state region for over 30 years. Vic was viewed as the “go-to” expert by St. Louis physicians, case managers, adjusters and attorneys when a case requires expert assessment and the confidence to present under oath. The system applies his experience and an evidence-based protocol to identify test behaviors and to document clearly, concisely, and in a manner that allows the physician to determine maximal medical improvement (MMI).

Axes Physical Therapy prides itself on facilitating effective recovery and safe return-to-work strategies through meticulous and scientifically-backed functional capacity evaluations. Our method not only helps in accurately assessing an individual’s capacity to perform their job but also plays a critical role in managing the broader implications of work-related injuries in St. Louis.

Call Axes For Your Functional Capacity Evaluation in St. Louis

At Axes Physical Therapy in St. Louis, we are committed to assisting our clients get back to work and daily life through the precise, scientifically-backed functional capacity evaluation process. Using the Bio-Ergonomics FCE system developed by Vic Zuccarello in 2005, our evaluations are not only reliable and defensible but are also deeply rooted in a holistic approach to patient care. We aim to ensure that every patient can safely return to the activities and work they love, with a clear understanding of their capabilities and limitations.

If you or someone you know in St. Louis is recovering from a workplace injury, consider a functional capacity evaluation with Axes Physical Therapy. Request an appointment online or call the Axes location nearest you. Together, let’s take a step towards a safe and effective recovery.


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