Thought I'd update this seeing as I have had a lot of treatment for my back at this stage, may be of interest to someone someday...
Well when I had posted last I was waiting on a consultant who has a very good reputation with my type on injury. I got to see him soon after my last post (May) and he recommended that I get another MRI. He then suggested a steroid injection and undergo a series of physiotherapy.
I eventually got that injection in July and had about 8 physio sessions. There was very little improvement in the physio's (and my opinion) so I contacted him again, wasn't impressed with the fact I had no contact from them after the injection. When I contacted him I received a letter stating that in his opinion the options were Physio/Pilates or surgery, and he wouldn't do the surgery. I obviously wasn't happy with this so I contacted his office again and asked about another steroid injection...the Dr. who did the initial injection in the Mater had said I may need a second injection as the first was a low dose.
They scheduled me for another injection (Sept/Oct) and this time is was a larger injection. Again I had a series of physio sessions and while there was improvement this time, again my physio (and myself) felt the improvement wasn't what it should have been.
We had been recommended a different consultant, in santry sports clinic, who also looked at alternatives to the usual Physio or surgery options.
Got an appointment quickly enough, just after christmas and he was excellent. He asked what "I" wanted or expected out of treatment. We agreed that injections hadn't helped and physio/pilates etc. alone would not fix the issue. He also said he wouldn't like to do surgery but if in 12 months time I still had the issue he would be recommending a paring of the disc.
He explained a new enough treatment where they use nucleoplasty to remove material from the nucleus of the damaged disc and then they fill the disc with Ozone (O3) gas. The trials of the treatment had a very high success rate with no side affects seen. I've read a few of the papers on the procedure and how the ozone works to repair the disc and was happy to go ahead with it.
So I had the procedure done this week. It was under local anesthetic and the use fluoroscopy to guide them in real time with xrays. Had an epidural so it was more uncomfortable than painful. I'm on my back now for at least a few days, very sore but hopefully its worth it.
The professor who did the surgery said they did the same procedure for the exact same injury on one of the italian olympic athletes just over 2 weeks ago and she was back training a couple of days ago with no symptoms of her original injury
He has also seen a number of patients who were far worse than me and couldn't even walk and within 72 hours of the procedure they were back walking.
He's obviously said that it will differ from person to person but he is very confident I will have a successful recovery.........
So will be getting the bike serviced soon fingers crossed