Ceramics used for the repair and reconstruction of diseased or damaged parts of the musculo-skeletal system, termed bioceramics, can be bioinert, bioresorbable and bioactive, as well as porous for tissue ingrowth. This review is devoted to calcium orthophosphates, which belong to the categories of bioresorbable and bioactive bioceramics. There have been a number of major advances made in this field during the past 30 – 40 years. From initial work on development of bioceramics that were tolerated in the physiological environment, emphasis has now shifted towards the use of bioceramics that interact with bone tissue by forming a direct bond. By structural and compositional control, it is now possible to choose whether the bioceramics of calcium orthophosphates are biologically stable once incorporated within the skeletal structure or whether they are resorbed over time. Current biomedical applications of calcium orthophosphate bioceramics include replacements for hips, knees, teeth, tendons and ligaments, as well as repair for periodontal disease, maxillofacial reconstruction, augmentation and stabilization of the jawbone, spinal fusion and bone fillers after tumor surgery.