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Microradiography, backscattered electron microscopy, and histological analysis were used to conduct a quantitative postmortem study of seven consecutively retrieved anatomical porous replacement acetabular components that had been inserted during total hip arthroplasties. Screws had been used for the initial fixation of six components. The microradiographic analysis of all seven components showed that an average (and standard deviation) of 84 +/- 9 per cent (range, 72 to 93 per cent) of the porous coating was in direct apposition to the periprosthetic bone. The backscattered electron images demonstrated that an average of 12 +/- 6 per cent (range, 4 to 21 per cent) of the space available in the porous coating was occupied by ingrown bone. The amount of bone ingrowth was not significantly different among the three zones delineated by DeLee and Charnley. Uniformity of bone growth into the porous coating suggests that the preferential loading that occurs in the superior region did not differentially affect the bone ingrowth. The present study showed that consistent bone growth into anatomical porous replacement acetabular components can be achieved.