Doctors generally try to delay knee replacement surgery for as long as possible in favor of less invasive treatments as knee replacement is major surgery and can have an unpredictable outcome.
In the early stages, knee disorders are primarily treated with non-surgical measures, including:
As you know, this site is meant to be one of many helpful resources and is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always research thoroughly and consult with your treating physicians before beginning any treatment regimen.
Dealing with severe pain can be a very isolating experience, however, you do not have to be alone and it may be beneficial to ask your doctor or search online for local support groups or online communities that focus on your specific condition.