I saw my orthopedic surgeon yesterday (Dr. Gurley) to talk about the results of my knee MRI. Two things are going on.
(1) I have a small meniscus tear, but since it's small & without pain or loss of mobility, it's probably no worry.
(2) The bigger issue is that my articular cartilage (the shiny white surface on the end of a chicken bone) on my right femur (where it meets the knee) has a small section gone or rubbed off. Instead of a nice smooth surface, it's a small circle of dark rough bone.
We have a few options. The easiest two options are (a) I'll just start trying to workout very slowly, work up in intensity, and see what happens. If there's bruising & pain, we can try the next step which is (b) microfracture chondroplasty surgery. That is, taking a small instrument like an ice pick, and poking several holes up into the bone where my smooth cartilage covering is gone, to get the blood & bone marrow to ooze out, and create a new cartilage (his drawing is below). I thought he said that this new cartilage wouldn't be quite as good as the original cartilage, but it would be smoother than my raw bone. I found some more info here.
Anyway, I'll start working out veeeeeeeerrrrrrryyyyyyy sloooooooooooowwwwwwwwlllllllyyyyyy and let you know what happens.