Chemical stability, mechanical behaviour and biocompatibility in body fluids and tissues are the basic requirements for successful application of implant materials in bone fractures and replacements. Corrosion is one of the major processes affecting the life and service of orthopaedic devices made of metals and alloys used as implants in the body. Among the metals and alloys known, stainless steels (SS), Co-Cr alloys and titanium and its alloys are the most widely used for the making of biodevices for extended life in human body. Incidences of failure of stainless steel implant devices reveal the occurrence of significant localised corroding viz., pitting and crevice corrosion. Titanium forms a stable TiO2 film which can release titanium particles under wear into the body environment. To reduce corrosion and achieve better biocompatibility, bulk alloying of stainless steels with titanium and nitrogen, surface alloying by ion implantation of stainless steels and titanium and its alloys, and surface modification of stainless steel with bioceramic coatings are considered potential methods for improving the performance of orthopaedic devices. This review discusses these issues in depth and examines emerging directions.