Arthroscopic surgery, also known as arthroscopy, is a surgical procedure to visualize, diagnose, and treat problems inside a joint using a specialized instrument known as an arthroscope. An arthroscope is a flexible fiberoptic tube that contains a small lens or camera and a lighting system to magnify and illuminate structures inside a joint.
Joint replacement is a surgical procedure in which the worn, damaged surfaces of the joint are removed and replaced with new artificial parts. Your doctor may consider a joint replacement if you have severe pain which limits daily activities and is not relieved with medications, injections, physical therapy, or other treatments. The goal of the surgery is to relieve pain and restore the alignment and function of your joint.