Has anyone returned to work after having cervical fusion surgery?
I was injured in a training accident last summer. It was initially thought that I had only damaged my shoulder and had surgery for it. I returned to full duty after about 12 weeks. My surgery was on my left shoulder. In the past few months I noticed I was losing strength and muscle mass in my right arm and pectoral muscle. I had a final follow up appointment about a month ago. The doc measured my biceps and my right arm is 1 3/4" smaller. I am also right handed and my right arm has always been slightly bigger.
Long story short, my xrays and MRI have shown "significant trauma" to my cervical vertabrae. It appears that my nerves have been permanantly damaged to a certain extent. The ortho surgeon that did my shoulder stated that it might be career ending.
I have an appointment with a neurologist and cervical ortho surgeon next week. It doesn't appear that surgery can be avoided without even more damage occuring. I don't have pain, just weakness and atrophy.
Has anyone out there had cervical fusions and returned to full duty? How severe was your damage and how was the rehab?
I'm looking for any answers and information, because right now all I have is questions.
Oh yeah, I'm turning 50 in June and have been on a paid dept for 15 years. I'm an engineer and am on our rope, confined space, trench, and swift water teams. I actually suffered the injury in a swiftwater drill.
Thanks for any advice!