This report describes a new technique by which arthroscopy of the hip provides complete visualization of the joint space. The arthroscope and operative instruments are inserted by a direct lateral approach over the greater trochanter, with the patient in the lateral decubitus position. The involved leg is held in an abducted and flexed position with traction by pulleys hung overhead. Hip abduction and flexion relaxes the capsule and traction separates the joint so that insertion of the arthroscope is facilitated. Arthroscopic examination of the hip joint was performed in 11 patients. The indications for surgery included diagnosis of unresolved hip pain following failure of conservative treatment, removal of loose bodies, exploration and debridement following fracture and/or dislocation, and evaluation of the arthritic hip prior to definitive surgery.