We had surgery with our old dog. There are 2 specialized groups on Yahoo and I did my reading there.
Indeed it might cost between 1 and 2000 dollars.
When his knee cap kept coming out on the 2nd leg we did not want him to go through surgery again. Took him to my regular vet and said we don't want surgery but we don't want him to suffer either.
He said a lot of dogs have it and he can live with it, but when you take him to a surgeon they will do surgery.
He never had the 2nd surgery, but I gave him supplements but I can't tell you what I gave him, it is several years ago.
If I can find moe I will e-mail you.