For degenerative meniscal tears in the knees, exercise therapy matches arthroscopic repair on all outcomes of pain, function and quality of life. Strength training outmuscles surgery on muscular strength gain in the immediate term.
Exercise therapy versus arthroscopic partial meniscectomy for degenerative meniscal tear in middle aged patients: randomised controlled trial with two year follow-up
Contrary to popular misconception, exercise does not lead to, nor necessarily aggravate, knee osteoarthritis. Exercise is instead beneficial, but must be carefully selected and calibrated for the individual patient. You need professional help on this.