Torques generated in one subject during the early postoperative period were measured with a telemeterized total hip component. The patient was examined during gait, stair ascent, rising from a chair, and single-limb stance. The torques were plotted against both the resultant joint contact force and the force component directed along the stem axis. During gait, the maximum torque was 35 Nm, recorded at a walking velocity of 1.7 m/sec. The peak torques during stair ascent and during rising from a seated position were found to be 23 and 15 Nm, respectively. The maximum value for torque measured in this study was 37 Nm during one attempt at single-limb stance. Comparison of plots for torque versus stem-axis component for the four activities shows that the torque increased more rapidly for chair exits than for gait up to resultant contact force values of as much as 1,000 N. For stair ascent, the same was true to values of 1,400 N. Within any given activity, the relationship between stem torque and resultant or stem-axis force showed considerable variability. These results indicate that experiments evaluating the stability of femoral components in total hip arthroplasty should incorporate a component directed along the stem axis, as well as a component normal to the plane of the prosthesis. The results also suggest that theoretical stress analysis models should consider the broad variability in the orientation of the joint force at the hip.