A retrospective review of 95 consecutive primary total hip arthroplasty patients was performed to assess the clinical outcome of two postoperative bladder management protocols. The first 49 patients (group 1) were treated with a pro re nata straight catheterization protocol. The next 46 patients (group 2) were treated with an indwelling catheterization protocol. There were no differences between the groups with respect to sex or age. The patients in group 2 had significantly lower incidences of urinary retention (P < .0005) and bladder distention (P < .0005) than those in group 1. Preoperative systemic diseases and urologic symptoms did not correlate with the occurrence of postoperative urinary retention or bladder distention. There were no infections in group 1. In group 2, one patient (2%) had bacteriuria and one patient (2%) had a urinary tract infection (P > .1). This trend of increased contamination in the catheterization group may be related to a mean catheterization duration of 72 hours.