OBJECTIVE: Subtle deformities of the hip joint are implicated in the etiology of osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip. Parameters that quantify these deformities may aid understanding of these associations. We undertook this study to examine relationships between such parameters and the 19-year risk of total hip arthroplasty (THA) for end-stage OA. METHODS: A new software program designed for measuring morphologic parameters around the hip was developed and validated in a reliability study. THA was the outcome measure for end-stage OA. A nested case-control study was used with individuals from a cohort of 1,003 women who were recruited at year 1 in 1989 and followed up to year 20 (the Chingford Study). All hips with THA by year 20 and 243 randomly selected control hips were studied. Pelvis radiographs obtained at year 2 were analyzed for variations in hip morphology. Measurements were compared between the THA case group and the control group. RESULTS: Patients with THA had a higher prevalence of cam deformity than did their respective controls (median alpha angle 62.4 degrees versus 45.8 degrees [P = 0.001]; mean modified triangular index height 28.5 mm versus 26.9 mm [P = 0.001]) as well as a higher prevalence of acetabular dysplasia (mean lateral center edge angle 29.5 degrees versus 34.3 degrees [P = 0.001]; median extrusion index 0.25 versus 0.185 [P = 0.009]). Logistic regression analyses clustering by subject and adjusting for radiographic hip OA at year 2 showed that these morphologic parameters were still significantly associated with THA by year 20. The alpha angle and lateral center edge angle predicted the risk of THA independently when included in the same model. CONCLUSION: This investigation describes measurements that predict the risk of THA for end-stage OA by year 20, independently of the presence of radiographic hip OA at year 2. These measurements can be made on an anteroposterior pelvis radiograph, which is an inexpensive and commonly used clinical method of investigation.