I saw the orthopedic surgeon today, to discuss the prospects of knee surgery. Dan went with me, and I was happy to have him there.
The doctor said that the arthritis in that knee is pretty severe, and that there are some "spurs" forming. But he feels like we should try a few things before jumping (pun intended) into surgery. Today he gave me a cortisone injection (and Dan, who was holding my hand, says he still has nail marks!). The hope is that this injection will give temporary relief from the pain, so that I can do some physical therapy and strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee. He says that stronger muscles might actually reduce the swelling and the pain, but if not, stronger muscles will certainly make recovery from a future surgery easier.
I'll see him again in a month or so, after starting physical therapy. What he said made sense. No need to rush into major surgery without trying other options or without making sensible physical preparations.
But OUCH! That injection wasn't fun.