The role of ceramic materials in joint reconstruction is explored. Ceramic materials in use are defined in terms of chemical composition, mechanical properties, tribological properties, and biocompatibility. The prime materials for structural applications such as joint bearing surfaces are alumina, A12O3, and zirconia, ZrO2. The bone-prosthesis interface in uncemented prostheses may undergo significant improvement through osseo-integration with the use of bioactive ceramic coatings. Both applications of ceramic materials should be approached cautiously until clinical data demonstrate efficacy.