Aseptic loosening of artificial hip joints is believed to be influenced by the design and orientation of the implant. It is hypothesised that variations in implant anteversion and offset lead to changes in the loading of the proximal femur, causing critical conditions to both the bone and cement. The goal of this study was therefore to analyse the role of these parameters on loading, bone strains and cement stresses in total hip arthroplasty (THA). A validated musculo-skeletal model was used for the analysis of muscle and joint contact forces during walking and stair climbing. Two different anteversion angles (4° vs. 24°) and prostheses offsets (standard vs. long) were analysed. The loads for each case were applied to a cemented THA finite element model. Generally, stair climbing caused higher bone strains and cement stresses (max. +25%) than walking. Variations in anteversion and offset caused changes in the loading environment, bone strain distribution and cement stresses. Compared to the standard THA configuration, cement stresses were raised by increasing anteversion (max. +52%), offset (max. +5%) and their combination (max. +67%). Femoral anteversion, offset and their combination may therefore lead to an increased risk of implant loosening. Analyses of implant survival should consider this as a limiting factor in THA longevity. In clinical practice, implant orientation, especially in regard to pre- and post-operative anteversion, should be considered to be more critical. © 2003 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.