New member here...
I am a 26 year old male and and had the operation for Scheuermann's kyphosis in March.
I wanted to write to let anyone reading this and facing the tough decision about surgery know that my experience has been positive so far so I can definitely recommend it. I am now 6 months post-op and things are going well.
I was very active before my surgery, usually cycling about 75-100 miles each week, playing tennis, going swimming and being a member of a band as a drummer. I had a kyphosis curve of 75 degrees and a slight scoliosis curve. I had my operation through the NHS in England. It took 9 hours and I spent 9 days in hospital. I was 6'6 before and am now 6'8. I have improved posture now so I feel that I carry my height a lot better than before.
The first 6 weeks of recovery were hard. My back was very stiff and would be on my mind all the time just moving around the house. I only managed a few hours sleep a night for the first 2 weeks. I came off pain killers after 3 and a half weeks and was walking a mile and a half around the same time. I was very tired during the afternoon and would usually sleep for a couple of hours. I felt pretty sick for about a month so didn't eat as much. I lost a stone following my operation and have not gained it back yet despite increasing the amount I am eating.
I noticed a big improvement at around the 6 week mark where I could start going for longer walks. I would still punctuate my day with regular resting- lying flat on the sofa watching TV! I started driving again after 2 months. I noticed another big improvement at around the 4 month mark where I travelled to Budapest to play my first gig back as a drummer. The flight and travel were hard as sitting up for long periods can still become uncomfortable for me, but the drumming went surprising well and has continued to improve with each gig. I have since played 6 gigs in Hungary, Spain, Finland and the UK. I am due to play in America in November and am also flying to Thailand in September.
Before my operation one of my main concerns was how long I would not be able to cycle for, as before I would get out on my bike most days. My surgeon recommended about 6 months but when I went for a check up last week I was advised by a different doctor to wait until a year after my operation so that I don't jeopardise the fusion. I have decided to be safe and give it a year!
My pain levels are very good and this has been the most surprising thing as before the operation I was given no guarantees as to this improving. I do get pain in my lower back and hip area at the moment when sitting up which I am told is because the bottom of my back is now taking on more load due to my entire spine being straighter. I am keeping up with my physio exercises which I started after 6 weeks to help this. The main focus of the exercises is core strengthening work to help share the load of the spine to the core muscles. I also try to work on my flexibility which seems to help.
I went back to work part time at a bike shop after 3 months. I am fine with day to day work stuff but am not lifting anything too heavy just yet.
I hope some of this info helps give people some insight into what to expect, especially with post-op recovery, as it is very scary going into the operation not knowing what to expect on the other side.