Rheumatoid Arthritis Pictures Slideshow (cont.)
Surgery may be recommended to restore joint mobility or repair damaged joints. Doctors who specialize in joint surgery are orthopedic surgeons. The types of joint surgery range from arthroscopy (insertion of a tubelike instrument into the joint to see and repair abnormal tissues) to partial and complete replacement of the joint. Total joint replacement is a surgical procedure whereby a destroyed joint is replaced with artificial materials. For example, the small joints of the hand can be replaced with plastic material. Large joints, such as the hips or knees, are replaced with metals.