1. #1
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    Apr 2012

    Default 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!

  2. #2
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    Apr 2012

    Default spine injury

    I have been trying to shoot you an answer for a few days. I ruptured a disc (C6-C7) years ago and just went in for repair work 2 yrs ago. I was an active duty Navy diver at the time was returned to full duty within 2 weeks of the surgery. When I went thru with it and after the fact I did not think it was a big deal. Im an avid kiteboarder and was on the water the day the doc released me. His quote was short of bull riding I was good.
    I just went thru a fire academy last summer at 43 and was top of the class in PT standards. I'm now in anouther fire academy and run a close second in the PT scores and I have aged anouther year.
    My first city never asked about surgerys the second did and the disc would have been a no hire if I had it fused. I was able to get an implant called pro-disc not sure if thats right but can look it up if you need. I had to sign of on both procedures because the doc would not be able to tell what he could use till he dug in. The fusion from what I understand just puts the burden of more pressure on the rest of the discs. hope this helps. You can check out the procedures on you-tube.


  3. #3
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    Jan 2004
    Memphis, TN - USA


    I know of a guy that did for awhile, but he ended up getting killed going through a stop sign. Evidently it jaded it harder to look left and right o make sure no one was coming.....
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.

    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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