The polymerization behaviour of bone cements during total hip replacements is characterized by a fast and highly non-isothermal bulk reaction. In the first part of this paper the reaction kinetics are analysed by calorimetric analysis in order to determine the rates of polymerization in isothermal and non-isothermal conditions. A phenomenological kinetic model, accounting for the effects of autoacceleration and vitrification, is presented. This model, integrated with an energy balance, is capable of predicting the temperature across the prosthesis, the cement and the bone and the degree of reaction in the cement, during in situ polymerization. The temperature and the degree of reaction profiles are calculated, as a function of the setting time, taking into account the system geometry, the thermal diffusivity of bone, prosthesis and cement, and the heat rate generated by the reaction according to the kinetic model. Material properties, boundary and initial conditions are the input data of the heat transfer model. Kinetic and heat transfer models are coupled and a numerical solution method is used. The model is applied in order to study the effects of different application procedures on temperature and degree of reaction profiles across the bone-cement-prosthesis system.