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Hello and thank you for the question Jay.Answers given are for informational purposes only and are not meant to replace an exam by an in-person.
I am Dr. Sohaib, a practicing Internal Medicine Specialist and i will do my best to help you today.
Such kind of chronic knee pain can be managed well conservatively by means of various pain medications including Tylenol, NSAID's or other stronger pain medications such as tramadol, oxycodone or hydrocodone.
In your case, since you have elevated creatinine levels, it would not be wise to use NSAID's for long which may affect your kidneys adversely.
Also taking other pain medications for long have their own risks and benefits ---- you and your doctor working together can decide whether you want to control this with drugs only (if the pain control by drugs is adequately achieved) or if you want to proceed further for knee surgery/replacement (which is the only curative option available for knee osteoarthritis).
There are other less invasive measures like steroid or hyaluranon injections in the knee --- which work well for some patients and not for the others. There is also no harm in giving these a trial before opting surgery.
But first of all you need a comprehensive clinical examination by a Rheumatologist and investigations like MRI of the joint to get a specific diagnosis, following which it would be easy for you and the rheumatologist to chalk out further management plan that suits best to your needs.
I would have been worried too if I were at your place, but let me reassure you that this is a treatable condition and carries a good prognosis with appropriate management.
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