Oh. My. Gosh.
I've been taking the glucosamine-chondroitin OTC product that my mom recommended to me for the past 3-4 weeks.
I just walked down the stairs from our second floor to the first floor.
Remarkably, I did so without having any of the pain or funky noises (aka crepitus) emanating from the knee.
I'm gong to say that one more time: for the first time since well before the second injury 14 months ago, I walked down a flight of steps without one unwanted symptom.
I can honestly say that I'd forgotten what it felt like to walk down a flight of stairs without having at least one pang of discomfort and/or hearing damaged-joint noises.
I know it's not the result of NSAIDs. We ran out of those a couple weeks ago, and since then I've steeled myself to do without them so I could pay better attention to what the glucosamine-chondroitin was doing. Therefore, I know that this symptom-free moment was not the result of naproxen.
I know better than to think I'll be symptom-free forevermore, considering I saw what the knee looks like inside thanks to the pics the doc took during the surgery. But a walk down an entire flight of steps without one problem -- I wouldn't have banked on ever having that again. So that's some real progress.
So you can count me as the latest passenger on the "try glucosamine chondroitin" bandwagon. The particular brand my Mom recommended is Osteo Bi-Flex, but I've had one or two other suggestions from online friends as well, of similar products that have worked well for them.
My original motto, "Don't fall, and if you MUST fall, don't LAND", still holds true. But if you already fell and landed, or have some other reason why the osteoarthritis fairy has visited you, by all means hit up the local pharmacy for the OTC glucosamine-chondroitin products.