Karen--A quick word; I think I'm losing disk height even as I type!
I don't know the specific number for me re: disk height, but two "nucleoplasters" both thought I was a candidate in that regard. For me, the ambiguity comes in the fact that my compression is also partly related to hypertrophied facet joints--e.g., arthritic changes. So it's not clear whether shrinking the disk will do enough to open things up. That's why laminectomy also being seriously considered--where both bone and, often, part of disk gets removed. Of course, much more invasive and all that goes with that.
I entirely agree with what you say re: learning curve. Probably IDET went through a similar process, and we could probably learn if we knew that history. As much as I personally would rather avoid corsets (see Tennisnut's posts on this), it's probably the way to go, if you get nuked. What you say about doing whatever possible to strengthen core before (and,eventually, after) makes
complete sense. That's the name of the game, in many ways.
Look forward to your next report.