Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Wrist FAQ

Question:

My husband's Workers' Compensation case manager insists he is ready to return-to-work. He bases this claim on the fact that my husband can ride a bike and go golfing with the kids. The problem is that his job doesn't require biking and golfing. He's supposed to lift 50 to 70 pound packages while twisting and turning. How can we get this point across to the case reviewer?

Answer:

You've hit upon a problem that faces many Workers' Compensation claimants. Functional status, limitations, and abilities/disabilities can be very different between home and work. And tests to measure function don't always address these types of limitations. There is one tool that seems to take into consideration both sides of the worker's life: home and work. This is the Patient-Specific Functional Scale (PSFS). Besides providing useful clinical information, the test helps predict functional limitations. Each WC claimant completing the PSFS is asked to list the top three activities they are having the most trouble with. This gives them a chance to personalize an otherwise standard test. The test is more meaningful to the patients because they can discuss their own unique problems and challenges. Call and write a letter to the Workers' Compensation Board. Express your concerns. Ask about test procedures such as the PSFS to help identify areas of disability that need to be addressed through rehab before returning to work. This can help prevent future recurrences of problems from injuries or accidents. Douglas P. Gross, PhD, et al. The Patient-Specific Functional Scale: Validity in Workers' Compensation Claimants. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. July 2008. Vol. 89. No. 7. Pp. 1294-1299.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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