I got my knee "cleaned up" today, meaning cutting out broken cartilege. My initial impression is very positive. The snap, crackle, pop seems to be gone already.
I think the danger for me is going to be in the next few weeks. I really want to jump right back to the 200 miles a week that I was doing a few months ago, instead of the 20 miles I was doing last week at the bottom of the downward spiral of pain/inflamation.
Despite the uncertainty, and the chance of overtraining, at least there is hope--to ride pain free.