From 1996 to 2000, 11 adolescents with hip joint arthritis secondary to osteonecrosis or idiopathic chondrolysis were treated with articulated hinged distraction arthroplasty. Indications for surgery were severe pain and limited ambulation. Charts and radiographs were reviewed. Clinical status was assessed preoperatively and at latest follow-up (mean 4.8 years after surgery) using criteria of pain, range of motion, and ambulation level. Ten patients showed improved clinical status, with seven having an excellent outcome and three a good outcome. One patient failed distraction. Mean joint space was 2.6 mm before surgery and 4.8 mm at latest follow-up. Average duration of fixator use was 4.4 months. Four patients (36.4%) had complications. Articulated hip distraction was effective in eliminating pain, improving function, and preventing progressive degenerative changes in young patients' hips. It should be considered a salvage procedure for arthritic hips and an alternative to arthrodesis in this difficult-to-treat group of patients.