Work-related rehabilitation has for several years been gaining greater importance in orthopaedic rehabilitation. High-quality studies have confirmed that work-related medical rehabilitation has favourable effects on earning capacity and work-life participation. This does however not hold true for all work-related rehabilitation programmes. In this context, 5 theses concerning success factors of work-related medical rehabilitation are developed. It is set out that the effects of work-related medical rehabilitation on work ability and work-life participation can be improved if programmes realize a needs-oriented assignment, include cognitive-behavioural components, follow a multimodal approach, step up treatment intensity, and if treatments are manualized.