Many times, orthopedic surgery - bone surgery - is compared to carpentry. When doing a joint replacement, the surgeon has to cut out the joint that is to be replaced and insert the prosthesis, the replacement.
To attach the replacement, there are pieces of hardware that are specific to each type of prosthesis and the type of bone to which it is to be attached. There is also surgical cement that is used to stabilize the replacements.
Most of the time, these pieces of hardware hold the prosthesis as they are intended to do, but there are situations where the hardware can fail or break, causing pain and mobility problems. When this happens, revision surgery is usually needed.