Knee pain for several years and can't ignore it anymore

Patient : I had an injury 7 or 8 years ago. They said I sprained my knee. Was in a soft cast for a few months and therapy 3 times a week. Knee felt better and was released back to work, though I could no longer put any real pressure on it. As time went on it, would ache from time to time but I dealt with it. Over the last 4 to 5 years though, it's been getting steadily worse. Pain fluctuates between aching and burning depending on what I'm doing. It pops when I walk, or go up stairs(loud enough that you can hear it and with every step) by the 2nd flight it's hurting pretty bad. Grinding feeling when I bend it. I can't keep it bent for to long before it starts to hurt and get stiff. I can't walk for too long before it begins to hurt either. And the weather seems to make it worse. No I am not over weight(5'10" 183lbs), but I can hardly even put my own body weight on it for more than a minute. Ice and heat only briefly dull the pain, and the same goes for pain killers. So I geuss I'm wondering if you have any ideas before I go to the Orthopedic Doctor? Thanks
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