The PCE utilizes isokinetic equipment which does not involve lifting or carrying any weight such as is required with an FCE. As a result, the PCE will not cause an injury during the evaluation which is always a risk when lifting or carrying a fixed amount of weight.
The PCE objectively measures the force generating capabilities of the major muscle groups involved in the essential functions of a job. The force curves created by the isokinetic testing are an objective component of the PCE. They are used to determine if a pre-existing condition exists that would result in the worker’s inability to safely perform the essential functions of the job. This objective capability does not exist with the FCE.
The PCE evaluates specific joints, which recent court proceedings indicated is critical when doing return to work testing. The courts have ruled that the FCE collects information that goes beyond the scope of the injury which is in violation of the worker’s privacy. Since the PCE is joint specific it is possible for IPCS to determine a worker’s muscle symmetry. Muscles working synergistically is critical to injury prevention. Muscle symmetry analysis is not possible with an FCE. In addition, because of the joint specificity that occurs with a PCE, it is possible to include the analysis of a strength to body weight ratio score. A worker’s strength should be proportionate to his/her body weight. If the strength is not proportionate, the worker is at an increased risk for injury and/or disease.