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Return to Work Program

The evidence-based return to work program at NYU Langone Occupational and Industrial Orthopedic Center is designed for people who have been out of work and need intense conditioning and retraining to meet the demands of their jobs. Our team—working in cooperation with case managers, human resources departments, and unions—evaluates and treats people with pain.

The person with the injury participates in an intensive and comprehensive program that simulates their job demands whenever possible and is individualized to fit their specific needs.

The goal is to prepare patients functionally and psychologically to return to work within two to four weeks after entering the program. Our program has a success rate of 95 percent for returning a person to any type of work, and a success rate of 90 percent for returning a person to their previous position.

Before acceptance into the program, the medical advisor at NYU Langone Occupational and Industrial Orthopedic Center, a New York State–licensed physical therapist, and a licensed psychologist specializing in occupational orthopedics perform thorough medical, functional, and behavioral evaluations. This gives us a baseline functional assessment and is used to customize an appropriate rehabilitation program.

The 4-week program is held for 4 hours a day, 5 days per week, for up to 80 total hours. Daily activities consist of patient education, intense physical work conditioning, and pain and stress management sessions. Conferences with attending physicians or other healthcare providers, such as nutritionists, are also offered.

The program includes a weekly assessment of the patient’s progress expectations and short- and long-term functional goals, as well as a biweekly evaluation by the team’s physician. Ergonomic assessments are provided as needed.