I have not gone under the knife myself. But over the years I've been through several regimens of physical therapy -- for my ankle, my knee, my neck, and now my back.
Fortunately, my back exercises are similar to the ones I do for my knees -- so I kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. I do one session in the morning, and a "refresher course" of about ten minutes before I go to bed.
I like to play golf and ping pong. I've also played a little pickleball. When we're able to go out again in public -- after we all get our shots, maybe by summer -- I've been thinking of joining a pickleball group. So I asked the doctor if that would be okay. His basic response was, the best thing you can do is keep moving. So do anything, as long as it doesn't hurt -- although he did tell me not to run long distances (no danger of that), and suggested that biking and swimming are two great low-impact exercises that strengthen the legs and body. So I bike and swim when I can, but honestly, not too often.
I'm always wondering if there's anything else I can do to slow down arthritis, to keep the pain levels down, maybe prevent it from popping up elsewhere in my body. There's a lot of advice about diet. The problem is that none of it is conclusive.
Everyone agrees that eating plenty of vegetables, especially broccoli and cauliflower and spinach, is good for arthritis, as well as virtually every other health issue we might have. We're supposed to consume lots of fiber, and restrict intake of salt and sugar. People disagree about milk and milk products -- although nobody thinks eating a lot of cheese is a good idea. But that may be as much for its fat and salt content as its milk content.