Thats how mine started. Taking NSAID's will destroy your organs in the long run. And your knees will go bad faster from here anyway. They sort of have that Snowball effect rolling along. Been there done that. I found 3 different doctors wouldn't push or offer TKR when I needed it really. They don't want lawsuits from someone trying to hold them accountable. I had to tell them I want it period. And had to show I was ready to go for it.Have not had knee surgery. I felt like I needed it, but upon looking at my x-rays and examining me my doctor said it was MILD osteoarthritis and recommended temporary NSAIDs and physical therapy. Off the meds and have just a little minor pain from time to time. The reason I am joining your discussion is that we went to Mt. Roberts yesterday (my first "real" hike since last year) and I have had no pain. It may be a nice one for those looking to get back into the swing of things. Best wishes to all of you and thanks for your shared wisdom.
Don't wait too long and suffer until I found walking was a chore. I thought I had to wait until I was in my 70's or so. Not so. They last forever it seems and if not forever revisions are a piece of cake now. My mom had it done to both knees and they lasted 35 yrs until her death. And they were done many years ago. Now they have better plastics and metals and surgery techniques.
On a side note I had TSR in one shoulder as well. Shouldn't of waited so long to have that done as well.