JTB, I am sorry for your challenges. As you noted, we all have them in one way or another.
I am a little unclear of your surgical history. I picked up that you had a Lateral Release of the Patella and Chondroplasty when? Why do you say that it failed? How much PT have you done? Have you tried injections?
I am 13 months post meniscectomy and lateral femoral condyle microfracture. My quality of life sucks. I have been doing PT for a year, working out at the gym since March trying to reduce the atrophy. I still can't do much of anything. I am constantly in pain and I have to wear a unloader brace during waking hours. I met with my OS today and we have scheduled a arthroscopy / chondroplasty surgery for next month to see if that helps.
I tell you this to let you know that you are not alone and your feelings are very similar to many of us on this forum. Hopefully you will find some support and help on the forum.
Best of luck!