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Thread: New member... 6 months post-op

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    4

    New member... 6 months post-op

    Hi,
    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,187
    Welcome George, and congratulations on the fast recovery. Keep up the good work!

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    1,053
    Great going George. Where in America? We come from all over and maybe someone from the forum will be near where you will be playing.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16
    Broken neck 9/28/2018
    Emergency surgery posterior fusion C4- T3
    Repeated 11/2018 because rods pulled apart added T2 fusion
    Removal of partial right thoracic hardware 1/2020
    Removal and replacement of C4-T10 hardware with C7 and T 1
    Osteotomy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,262
    Welcome to the forum and I am glad that your recovery is going so well

    Melissa
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,394
    George

    Welcome! Its not every day we see fused drummers. And to fly and do a gig at 4 months is amazing! I know I wasn’t about to sit in for Vinnie Colaiuta and play Zappa’s Black Page at that stage. (smiley face)

    How are things with your upper back drumming wise? Are you getting used to the feelings and the “toughening” of the paraspinal’s over the screw heads now? It gets better with time that for sure.....

    I sold my drums last year after around 25 years of playing on and off......I sold them because I had stool balancing issues that transferred to my feet since I’m fused all the way down to the pelvis.

    I am just amazed at how well some of the younger patients do.....Its been blowing me away since it reflects heavily on the decision making process for younger scolis and kyphos.

    That was really cool of you to chime in. Would love to see you play sometime.....

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 62, the new 63...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PSA T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg412 View Post
    Great going George. Where in America? We come from all over and maybe someone from the forum will be near where you will be playing.

    It's a growing list from November till December but currently includes Florida, Asheville, Mississippi, Louisiana, New York, Chicago, Plymouth. I can post a full list when I know!


    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    George

    Welcome! Its not every day we see fused drummers. And to fly and do a gig at 4 months is amazing! I know I wasn’t about to sit in for Vinnie Colaiuta and play Zappa’s Black Page at that stage. (smiley face)

    How are things with your upper back drumming wise? Are you getting used to the feelings and the “toughening” of the paraspinal’s over the screw heads now? It gets better with time that for sure.....

    I sold my drums last year after around 25 years of playing on and off......I sold them because I had stool balancing issues that transferred to my feet since I’m fused all the way down to the pelvis.

    I am just amazed at how well some of the younger patients do.....Its been blowing me away since it reflects heavily on the decision making process for younger scolis and kyphos.

    That was really cool of you to chime in. Would love to see you play sometime.....

    Ed

    Hi Ed, Yes I am definitely getting used to the feeling going on in my back. The first week all my nerves felt completely messed up, like I was wearing a corset and all my muscles were interlaced and not right! I do feel a tightness in my shoulders which I can help by dropping my shoulders and relaxing when sitting up.

    I wasn't the smoothest drummer at the first gig back, but I think I got the job done! It was definitely a bit stiff in my upper back when playing fills and reaching for cymbals, but it has improved with each weekend and now is on my mind less and less when playing.
    Last edited by George_L; 08-10-2015 at 03:45 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    1,053
    Do let us know your schedule. The young people like yourself do a great job of getting on with your life. How is flying with the metal?
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16
    Broken neck 9/28/2018
    Emergency surgery posterior fusion C4- T3
    Repeated 11/2018 because rods pulled apart added T2 fusion
    Removal of partial right thoracic hardware 1/2020
    Removal and replacement of C4-T10 hardware with C7 and T 1
    Osteotomy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg412 View Post
    Do let us know your schedule. The young people like yourself do a great job of getting on with your life. How is flying with the metal?
    I have set off 5 out of 6 security scanners so far, despite being told that my rods and screws wouldn't!

    Other than that the flying is ok thanks, it's just been 2-3 hour flights so far. Flying is never going to be ideal being 6"8 in economy and most airline chairs aren't great but luckily with long haul they do seem to step up the leg room too.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,607
    Welcome George! So glad that you are doing well and able to follow your passion.
    Susan
    Adult Onset Degen Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Sev disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal SCI T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Rev Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone
    2018: Removal L4,5 screw
    2021: Removal T1 screw & rod

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    102
    Nice one George. Great to see you back on tour and feeling almost back to normal!

    B
    Billy
    32 year old male from UK
    Fused at 25yrs
    62 degree thoratic curve
    45 degree lumbar curve
    Fused T3-L1 on 3rd Jan 2012

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