A consecutive series of 49 patients who had a primary total hip arthroplasty (THA) for osteoarthritis is reviewed to determine the difference in clinical outcome between the direct lateral and the posterior surgical approaches to the hip. Group 1 comprised 28 patients off had THA by the same surgeon using a posterolateral approach. Group 2 comprised 21 patients who had THA using the direct lateral approach, modified from Hardinge. The improvement in the limp, abductor strength, Trendelenburg test, and range of motion over time was similar in the two groups. The average Harris hip score at 1 year was 90 for Group 1 (posterior approach) and Group 2 (lateral approach). At 2-year minimum follow up, the Harris hip score was 94 for both groups. Radiographic review showed that the incidence and severity of heterotopic bone was also similar for both groups. The authors conclude that the clinical and radiographic outcome for THA using the posterior and the lateral approaches to the hip yield similar clinical results.