On Groundhog's Day, 1978, I was involved in a serious motorcycle crash that resulted in severe multiple trauma. The worst part was what affected my guitar playing. Spinal compression trauma at the C-5-6-7 level, broken left elbow joint, 3/4 amputation of left ring finger at the joint nearest the nail, left ring finger nail torn off.
My finger was reattached, my arm casted, and I got some PT, but it was still almost a year before I could hold a guitar in position, let alone play. I was 26 at the time of the injury and I've been playing since age 8 (started reading guitar music then as well), so I was (a) extremely depressed at being away from guitar for so long, and (b) in a pretty good position to figure out how to make it work again.
My left ring finger was still to tender to try to use, my strength in both arms wasn't great from the spinal trauma and my motor skills were a little lacking as well. I splinted my left ring finger so that it was sticking up and out of the way and started doing basic left hand exercises, doing everything with my index, middle, and pinkie. It was slow going at first, but my strength returned and probably 97% of my coordination. After a few months I slo-o-o-o-o-o-wly started working in my ring finger. Oh, crap! It was like rubber. Again, though, my strength started to return, but I wasn't progressing as much as I'd hoped I would. By now it's early 1980.
At the time all I'd ever played was steel string guitars and had never really considered playing a classical. Towards the end of 1980, after pretty much reaching a plateau, and at my wife's suggestion (I was getting despondent), I went to a music store just up the street from our house and looked at some of the classicals they had. I found a '76 Yairi CY-130, played it, loved the way it sounded and bought it. Not so hard to play and, wonder of wonders, I started playing more. I ended up with Noad's Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic collections. I got a job teaching guitar at a local parochial school. Taking THAT leap was a little scary, but it got me over the hump. A few months later a friend was telling me about a restaurant manager who was looking for a classical guitarist to play two nights a week and suggested I audition. Another scary step, but I went and got the gig. All this in the first few months of 1981.
So, here I am 31 years later, still playing classical, able to play steel string again, loving it all. In a way it was a blessing in disguise. Had it not been for my accident I'd probably never have been interested in pursuing CG and I'd be the poorer for it. I now have two classical guitars, the Yairi that I bought then and a M. Sakurai (also a 1976) that I bought from a student in '84.
Sorry for the long post, but had to jump in. Bodies are amazingly resilient and with enough time and patience will sometimes come back pretty well. Some coordination problems related to nerve damage still linger and I have some slight difficulty with certain fast passages like the run in Tarrega's "Capricho Arabe" but I can usually work around them "interpretively." Overall, life is good.