Hi, I'm 6 weeks post-op tomorrow, I can answer your questions on my experience so far.
I had T2 to L4 fused. I am 44.
1, PAIN: I had the op on a Friday so there was only a skeleton staff on the weekend, and when I got moved from High Dependency to the ward "something happened"with my case file and I was put on just a paracetamol drip....needless to say the weekend was horrifically painful and was sorted on Monday morning when my surgeon came to see me and said WTF???!!!! Then I was given appropriate meds and the pain was managed.
At home I have had my meds adjusted twice so far - everyone reacts differently to different painkillers. And they don't want you to become addicted so they are cautious whilst prescribing. My wound is healing well, its the rest of my body that hurts as it has been wonky for so long it is adjusting to its new structure, especially around my pelvic area. But I am told it will settle down.
2. RODS: no I can't feel them at all. I stare at my post-op x-ray and cannot believe that all that is inside me!
3. MOVING: In hospital I had no choice - they made me get up even though I didn't want to. I was going to the loo on my own with the aid of a zimmer in hospital, and I am quite mobile now at home. I haven't been out much, but that's because I am so exhausted, you don't get much sleep in noisy hospitals, and my meds make me drowsy. I can get up and down the stairs, but I do it slowly. I have a grabber for picking things off the floor and a bath board so that I can have a shower (my shower is over the bath), and I have a rail attached to my bed to help me get in and out. Only thing I can't do on my own is put bio oil on my scar!
4. HUMP: mine has gone!! well, structurally it has gone, I have a large soft tissue swelling at the moment where it used to be but I have been reassured that it will go away once my muscles have settled down. And my rotation has completely gone
5. TALLER: I was told I would gain 2" but I got 1", at first I was disappointed as I am only 5 foot but at least my body faces forward! The rib rotation was so severe they had to pin each vertebra to get me straight, so I have 26 screws, and this minimised my height gain.
6. DRIVING: I'mnot allowed to drive for 12 weeks according to my surgeon and GP.
Hope this helps! Any questions please ask,