Of course just putting up with it is not an option!
Sometimes, just the way your bones are put together make you prone to joint damage with an active lifestyle over time. It's pretty common and it's nothing you did to cause it.
Often, pain in one set of joints, like your hips or knees, alters your gait to the point that it puts stress on other joints - knees, ankles, feet, lower back, etc. So if you had some kind of slight congenital deformity in your hip that went undiagnosed, over the the damage transmits to other joints.
First of all, joint replacement is not as uncommon for folks our age as it used to be. I had my first hip replaced at age 37, the second at 40. It so improved my quality of life that I'd do it again in a heartbeat! With good care (keeping your weight down, no high-impact exercise) an implant could very well last your lifetime. Six months after my second one I was hiking in the Grand Canyon.
Having said that, it's always a good idea to exhaust all other avenues of pain management first before resorting to surgery. Ask for a referral to a pain management specialist AND an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in hips.
Keep up with some kind of exercise, like swimming, cycling, and light strength training. Keeping the tendons and muscles around the joints toned is important.
Hang in there!
Regenerate cartilage tissue.
Connective tissue disease.