Thank you for your query at DoctorSpring.com
I learn from the details given by you that you had post operative infection in October 2013 which was later cleared after taking antibiotics and that you do not have any complaints pertaining to the same. But now what you are complaining is a result of you lumbar problem possibly. For me to answer all your questions I need to have few details like - the discharge summary/ details of surgery, MRI scans before and after your surgery.
In brief I can tell that if there is nothing pressing on your nerves as seen on the MRI, then definitely you do not need any surgery. Any residual pain which you are experiencing will have to be handled by medications, physical therapy or injections. EMG reports will throw more light on whether you are having concurrent degenerative changes in your nerve or muscles. There are no procedures to connect the nerves unless there are cut due to injury..
Dr Goutham Cugati
Patient replied :
I am not entirely sure that the infection was cleared up by antibiotics since this is the same left side that I am having leg weakness and pain.
If my leg weakness and pain is caused by the lumbar surgery, then what happened to result in this thigh numbness, severe leg pain, and collapsing left leg causing falls? The UCSF physician said that I should ask the surgeon whether something went wrong during the surgery on my first post op visit.
In light of my symptoms and requiring a walker, is there hope for me to walk without aid of a walker, without my left leg collapsing and without leg pain? I am starting physical therapy next month which was ordered by the surgeon, "gait training".
I am really sorry that there is no surgical procedure which can correct the present condition as the MRI does not show any compression.
One thing I am not able to explain is that why should you have weakness if there is no compression. The possibility would be that you might be having a concurrent neurological problem in your nerves which can be known only after examining you thoroughly. So I request you to please consult the neurosurgeon who operated on you.
Patient replied :
Due to damaged nerves after lumbar laminectomy and discectomy, my upper left thigh is numb and painful. I am told that nerves reinnervate at a rate of one inch per month. The neurosurgeon explained that in my case, this would take about 6 months to 1 year. In your experience is this the case and is the reinnervation process gradual or immediate?
Damage to nerves during surgery will easily take a year to improve. But sometimes it may be incomplete recovery. We will have to wait and see for recovery.