Re: Can left lateral high signal intensity annular tear be healed in time?
I wrote a detailed response to your question about your annular tear at my thread 'Tennisnut's ADR Diary.' A high intensity zone is where a full-thickness radial annulus tear meets a rim tear. A full-thickness radial tear will never completely heal but can, in time, develop a seal in the outer 1/3 of the annulus. This means that your pain can go away, but that your annulus will always be vulnerable to another fissure. This radial annulus tears can take up to 18 months to 'heal,' but you must be EXTREMELY careful not to stress your disc during this time. No lifting anything over 10 lbs and avoid twisting/bending motions.
The epidural shot may improve your pain, but it is merely an antiinflammatory and will not in any way heal the tear. If it does improve your pain, you must be careful not to start activities that will stress the disc. Do lots of walking.
Currently, there are NO good treatments for annular tears. The results of IDET have been disappointing with only about 50% of patients helped across studies. There is absolutely no evidence that nucleoplasty can help a tear. A microdisectomy will not help a tear. The main surgical options are ADR and fusion. You should do everything you can to avoid becoming a surgery patient.
What is your pain level now? What can and can't you do activity-wise? Can you sit without pain?