Thanks for the responses. A bit more history - I've got some OA in my right knee and a meniscus tear in my left. I've been waiting to get my knee scoped, as the ortho docs I've seen have wanted to see what the Enbrel does first. I'm sure that flares in my knees make it seem worse than it is.
I've tried some (likely expired) Voltaren gel, but am on oral Diclofenac, which is the same thing, so they don't advise combing the two. It didn't do much. I use OTC stuff - Blue Emu, Tiger Balm, etc., just to feel like I'm doing something for myself.
I've had a long history of cortisone injections in both knees. For about 10 years I had inexplicable pain in various joints, but primarily my knees (above the knee, not the actual joint like gets stiff these days w/the spondy) but was never diagnosed w/anything. Didn't really meet the criteria for spondy until my ankles acted up a couple years ago. The injections were miraculous - worked every time to where I literally felt 100% until they wore off - sometimes many months. Most shots were in my knees but I had a couple in my ankles that didn't last.
Both my rheumy and ortho docs wonder about the long-term effects of the injections in my knees, but no way to know much. My left knee (with the meniscus tear) is much worse than my right lately, but I had far more injections in my right knee than my left (I also have significantly more OA in my right than my left, so who knows).
When the spondy subsides (rare though it is), neither the tear nor the OA really bothers me. I think the mechanical issues plus the spondy combined make it worse than either separately.
I've also had an injection in my right knee of euflexxa, this lubricating stuff. Seemed to work. It's been a year and a half and haven't needed a follow-up/booster shot.
All this to say
I think ice seems to help the pain from the meniscus tear, but the stiffness just gets overwhelming and I've not yet figured out anything to do for it. Going to try another short (16-day) prednisone taper next flare-up to see what that does, but that's not a long-term solution for me.
Thanks for listening everybody