Peri-prosthetic osteolysis and subsequent aseptic loosening is the most common reason for revising total hip replacements. Wear particles originating from the prosthetic components interact with multiple cell types in the peri-prosthetic region resulting in an inflammatory process that ultimately leads to peri-prosthetic bone loss. These cells include macrophages, osteoclasts, osteoblasts and fibroblasts. The majority of research in peri-prosthetic osteolysis has concentrated on the role played by osteoclasts and macrophages. The purpose of this review is to assess the role of the osteoblast in peri-prosthetic osteolysis. In peri-prosthetic osteolysis, wear particles may affect osteoblasts and contribute to the osteolytic process by two mechanisms. First, particles and metallic ions have been shown to inhibit the osteoblast in terms of its ability to secrete mineralised bone matrix, by reducing calcium deposition, alkaline phosphatase activity and its ability to proliferate. Secondly, particles and metallic ions have been shown to stimulate osteoblasts to produce pro inflammatory mediators in vitro. In vivo, these mediators have the potential to attract pro-inflammatory cells to the peri-prosthetic area and stimulate osteoclasts to absorb bone. Further research is needed to fully define the role of the osteoblast in peri-prosthetic osteolysis and to explore its potential role as a therapeutic target in this condition.