Main: 815.398.9491 | Ortho Express: 779 .771.7000

What should I expect during my Functional Capacity Evaluation

Information provided on the blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or offer treatment plans.

A Functional Capacity Evaluation is a test to determine the ability of the evaluated person to function in a variety of circumstances, most often employment, in an objective manner. These tests, which are often performed by a licensed physical therapist, are requested by physicians, insurances carriers or attorneys to assist in closure of a worker’s compensation case or if there is a request for determination of disability benefits. While every Functional Capacity Evaluation is different depending on the person being tested and what information is being requested, tests typically are performed over a 2-4 hour period and may consist of the following elements:

  • Informed Consent: Written and oral explanation of what to expect during the course of the examination.
  • Pain/Functional Questionnaires: To provide the evaluator with knowledge as to how the person being tested perceives his or her abilities and/or limitations.
  • History/Interview: Review of injury/illness, medical treatment provided, current physical status. This portion of testing ends with the evaluator obtaining a baseline heart rate, blood pressure reading and baseline pain rating to ensure safety during physical portions of testing.
  • Musculoskeletal Evaluation:       Tests of mobility and strength, not just for the area of injury/illness but a screen of other non-injured body parts.
  • XRTS Hand Strength Assessment:       Grip and pinch strength testing that gives an assessment of the effort of the person being tested.
  • XRTS Lifting Assessment: Series of lifting tests to determine how much the person being tested can safely lift on an “occasional” basis.
  • Metabolic Endurance Test:       Sub-maximal treadmill test to give an indication of cardiovascular fitness/general endurance.
  • Frequency Circuit: Circuit of activities designed to determine how much the person being tested can safely lift on a “frequent” basis.       May also include job-specific activities if appropriate.

Throughout the evaluation, the heart rate and pain level of the person being tested may be monitored. All information is then compiled in a report and sent the referral source for consideration.

Would you like more information?

Start your journey toward a healthier you right now.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

I'm the web developer and social media coordinator for OrthoIllinois. I'm passionate about sharing helpful content and powerful stories with readers.


© OrthoIllinois, formerly known as Rockford Orthopedic Associates 2017