i had surgery 18 years ago after shattering my kneecap while cliff jumping... my patella was wired back together, and 6 months later the wires were removed through another surgery. after being treated with physical therapy, my knee became strong again, and i was able to ski, run, bike, swim, hike, climb, etc... for 17 years i had barely any issues with my knee, so long as i avoided squatting activity, etc. beginning about 3 months ago, i am enduring a lot of pain and stiffness with my knee. all of my life i have also sat with my knees bent and my legs folded under me, or indian style, or hugging my legs to my chest, for hours upon hours (full work days) while i am working at my computer and have never had any issues... now i am finding that if i bend my leg for only a few minutes, i experience a lot of pain when straightening my leg, and it's very stiff and impossible to walk on, unless i leave it straight for a couple minutes before attempting to stand or walk. i do recall after the surgery 18 years ago, my doctor saying that i will likely need knee replacement by the time i'm 35. i'm approaching my 36th birthday next month, and it seems the doctor was pretty dead on as far as how many years it would take for me to begin having knee pain again. my parents are trying to talk me into taking glucosamine chondroitin, however, i'm curious to hear your opinion on why the sudden change with my knee? i realize i should make a doctor's appointment, however my insurance premium has more than doubled, so i have dropped my plan for now since the recession is having a huge impact on my business... any advice on why the sudden pain and stiffness?