Hi Steve. I admire your positive attitude dealing with this injury - I guess it could have been worse but I'm glad it wasn't.
OK so I'm no doctor but one of those vertebrae looks thinner - compressed(?)- than the others. What is the most positive outcome from it? Will it mend but still be thinner or will it decompress over time. What causes the pain? has the disc been pushed out & putting pressure on the sciatic nerve - There seems to be a healthy gap where the disc is so that must be a good thing.
If you were over here I'd have a go at pulling your spine bits out, giving them a clean, lube (non moly of course) & reassemble. If I gave the broken bits a lite grind I reckon some of my welding would hold back together quite well. Actually just give me a call when you are coming over & I'll shift some stuff from the workbench.