36-year old man who is 2.5 years status post workplace injury with bilateral radial head fractures and surgery for a right wrist fibrocartilage tear. After surgery and post-operative therapy, he initially returned to alternate work at a new company but was unable to sustain the job’s physical requirements and is now seeking alternate work.
Steve worked as a forklift operator whose job involved both driving and palletizing of loads in the warehouse. While he can drive, he can no longer perform work that requires repeated or forceful hand exertions and is now seeking alternate work.
Hand Evaluation Findings
- Continued complaints of bilateral wrist/forearm discomfort and intermittent pain in conjunction with repeated hand/arm movements
- Mild reductions in end range mobility for the elbows and wrists
- Good hand grip strength of at least 50% of normal for men his age
- Good upper body strength
- Intact sensation
- Full finger usage to perform manipulative tasks
- Ability to perform repeated hand tool strength exertions
- Ability to do occasional maximal low level lifts of up to 50 pounds and brief repeated lifts of 20 pounds
- Ability to do occasional maximal medium level lifts of up to 35 pounds and brief repeated lifts of 10 pounds
- Ability to do occasional bilateral carries of up to 45 pounds and unilateral carries of up to 25 pounds
Steve has the physical capacities to perform work associated with Light physical demands but cannot perform the full range of work associated with Medium physical demands. He is able to resume work as a forklift operator, his last post-injury job, when no or only light material handling is required; and to resume work as a light delivery driver without limitations, another post-injury job he has performed that does not require repeated strength exertions. Consideration for Steve’s residual physical capacities will need to be addressed in all future job placements.