We studied the effect of surgical experience on the dislocation rate after 4230 primary total hip arthroplasties (THAs) all performed using the posterior approach at three orthopaedic centres at major county hospitals. There were 129 postoperative (3%) dislocations. Twice the number of dislocations were registered for inexperienced surgeons as for their more experienced colleagues. This frequency of dislocation levelled off with increasing numbers of operations and remained constant after approximately 30. For every ten primary THAs performed annually, the risk of dislocation decreased by 50%.