I read your post and it shot an arrow straight thru my heart. I will be 56 next month and I have had fibro since I was 4 yrs. old. I didn't have to start with the braces thing until I was 27, after an accident at a roller skating rink, some boys racing around knocked me down and tore up my right knee. I found out from the ortho surgeon that my knee joints don't fit together properly, I was born that way. I went from 1 brace to 2 braces, then added a cane, then forearm crutches and then finally about 6 yrs. ago started using a wheelchair part time and then full time. It really isn't as bad as you might think, if you have the right mind set. But then I had a lot of yrs. to prepare myself, when I was 27 I had to see 3 different surgeons and they all said that I would be in a chair by the time I was 45, managed to make it to 49. It was not all due to the fibro as you can see under my name I have plenty of other problems.
May I ask why you are in a brace? Is it that your legs simply won't hold you up? Do you fall down a lot?
I can offer some advice to help with the pain. Gentle stretching exercises, chair yoga, heat packs for pain and ice for swelling. Sit down whenever you need to, don't stand just because everyone else is. Bike riding and slow walks either outside or on a treadmill are also good.
Please don't be afraid to ask me or anyone else here about anything that is on your mind, or if you just need to vent or get something off you chest. Welcome to the family, the guys and gals here are great.