In recent years, the paradigm about the metal with improved corrosion resistance for application in surgery and orthopedy was broken. The new class of biodegradable metal emerges as an alternative for biomedical implants. These metals corrode gradually with an appropriate host response and release of corrosion products. And it is absolutely necessary to use essential metals metabolized by hosting organism with local and general nontoxic effect. Magnesium serves this aim best; it plays the essential role in body metabolism and should be completely excreted within a few days after degradation. This review summarizes data from Mg discovery and its first experimental and clinical application of modern concept of Mg alloy development. We focused on biodegradable metal application in general surgery and orthopedic practice and showed the advantages and disadvantages Mg alloys offer. We focused on methods of in vitro and in vivo investigation of degradable Mg alloys and correlation between these methods. Based on the observed data, a better way for new alloy pre-clinical investigation is suggested. This review analyzes possible alloying elements that improve corrosion rate, mechanical properties, and gives the appropriate host response.