Of 1197 renal transplant recipients on the Oxford Transplant Programme, 25 (2%) needed arthroplasties for painful osteonecrosis of the hip. Nine of them had bilateral operations, giving a total of 34 primary total hip replacements (THR). The mean time from onset of symptoms to THR was 2.4 years and from transplantation to THR 5.1 years. The mean follow-up was 5.1 (1 to 14) years. THR relieved the pain in all the patients, but survival analysis indicated a lower survival rate than is usual for primary THR. There were eight major complications. One graft-related problem, early acute tubular necrosis, resolved rapidly after immediate treatment. One patient developed deep infection at 3.5 years after THR which settled with conservative treatment. Five hips developed aseptic loosening requiring revision arthroplasty at a mean of 8.8 years' follow-up. One patient had a non-fatal pulmonary embolism. THR is the treatment of choice for patients with painful osteonecrosis of the hip after renal transplant, but has higher rates of both early and late complications. Surgery should be performed in close association with a renal transplant unit.