Osteolysis refers to bone (osteo) destruction (lysis). It describes the process whereby the bone around an implant resorbs over time. Osteolysis occurs when bone-destroying cells called osteoclasts are overactive, eating away at bone. In a total joint replacement, or other hip surgery requiring the use of a prosthetic, osteolysis can sometimes occur. This is because the prosthetic releases microscopic particles due to wear at the joint surface (bearing surface). This release of wear particles over time results in local inflammation. This inflammation triggers osteoclasts to perform unwanted bone destruction. Too much destruction of bone where it meets the implant will lead to loosening of the prosthetic in the absence of infection. This is called aseptic loosening. If aseptic loosening occurs, a revision surgery to stabilize the artificial joint may be necessary.