In a series of 300 total hip replacements, nine (3 per cent) dislocated. Precise measurements of the orientation of the acetabular cup were made and it was found that anterior dislocations were associated with increased acetabular-component anteversion. There was no significant correlation between cup-orientation angle and posterior dislocation. The dislocation rate for cup orientation with anteversion of 15 +/- 10 degrees and lateral opening of 40 +/- 10 degrees was 1.5 per cent, while outside this "safe" range the dislocation rate was 6.1 per cent. Other factors that were documented include time after surgery (with the greatest risk in the first thirty days) and surgical history (with a greater risk in hips that have had prior surgery).