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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board
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Old 10-02-2004, 10:30 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: California
Posts: 370
Sunnycal HB User
Functional Capacity Evaluation was terrible

My husband is on Worker's Comp (auto accident while on company time) and about to be declared permanent and stationary (translation--he's stuck with this for life). We have a great pain doctor and have really not had any trouble with W/C (believe it or not, we are so fortunate, we don't even have a lawyer). The doc wanted a functional capacity evaluation (has anyone else had one?) to use in determining his disability. It took two days (9-12:00 on one day and 1-3:00 on the next) and they had him doing all sorts of things that he has been restricted from doing--lifting weights (he had back and shoulder injuries from the accident), climbing stairs, squatting. He was in intense pain during and after, but nowhere on the forms is there a place for recording what activities cause pain. They didn't even ask that question (he told them anyway). Hopefully just doing the exam isn't going to cause further damage!!!! I looked the eval up on the internet and it says something about separating function from pain. But aren't you disabled if doing the activities causes pain? I really feel like calling the doctor on Monday and asking what this was supposed to prove...
Sunny California

Old 10-02-2004, 04:02 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: PA
Posts: 155
jokehakk HB User
Re: Functional Capacity Evaluation was terrible

hello, i never had a fce, but my understanding of what its meant to do. It determines what type work and work restrictions one must have in place to return to the job.
in my opinion, when the dr. starts to order these, he is trying to get you back to work, doing something. Did your private dr send you to this or was it a workers comp panel dr. if its been over 90 days, you can treat with a dr of your choice.

i understand, you may not want an lawyer involved, but you may want to consult with one, because sending him to this fce, is only the beginning. because if the fce, says you can work, even if your own dr. says you can't, your company can stop your benefits.
If your husband was under no lifting restrictions, he should not have lifted, in my opinion.
its my understanding doing these fce, that one may refuse certain parts due to restrictions or pain, etc. I am no lawyer, but that is something a lawyer would be able to tell you.
i wish you the best, workers compensation is a tough area to deal with by yourself, and these are just my opinions.

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Old 10-03-2004, 03:18 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: California
Posts: 370
Sunnycal HB User
Re: Functional Capacity Evaluation was terrible

It was my husband's private doctor, a pain anesthesiologist, who sent him to the evaluation. So we are not sure how he will use the information. When my husband originally had the auto accident in 1992, he saw a WC doctor for a month, but we have seen private doctors since. (He has been on and off disability each time he has a surgery. Now he has been on disability for several years, since the neuroma and diagnosis of RSD, through SCS trials, blocks, etc.) He is also being scheduled for a consultation with a neuropsychologist to determine the extent of his cognitive impairment. He used to be an electrical engineer--brilliant--and this is so hard for him to not be able to remember anything. I have decided to call the doctor on Monday to see how this all fits together.

Old 10-04-2004, 01:53 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: PA
Posts: 155
jokehakk HB User
Re: Functional Capacity Evaluation was terrible

I don't understand why your private dr. would send your husband to a FCE, if he has all of these restrictions. I have only ever heard of workers compensation requesting the doctor to order this test, fce. I am not sure how this will help, if your husband did everything they asked him to do during the FCE.

Workers compensation requested my doctor who was a panel dr. to order one of these tests on me, and the dr. refused to, and said I couldn't do it, and it would cause me harm. So then the workers compensation people, ordered me to go to IME, and their doctor took it upon himself, to fill out a FCE form without ever even testing me. But, he basically agreed with the surgeon work restrictions, so it didn't hurt me.
Let us know what happens, my best advice, and these are only my opinions and thoughts, you may want to look into a lawyer for some advice, because its my understanding of workers comp law, it only pays for 500 weeks of comp. pay, from the original injury date. Unless, a IRE dr. gives you a 50% or more impairment rating. I am not sure, but a lawyer in state would know the law.

take care

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