A systematic review of the literature was performed in order to evaluate the outcomes following arthrodesis of the hip and subsequent conversion to total hip arthroplasty. Eight studies regarding primary hip arthrodesis evaluating 249 hips revealed variable union rates (37.5%–100%) and patient satisfaction rates (69%–100%). Adjacent joint pain was commonly seen in the lower back (up to 75%) and ipsilateral knee (up to 57%) and complications were reported in 8.4%. Eleven studies regarding conversion arthroplasty evaluating 579 patients revealed inconsistent results regarding relief of pain. Complications were seen in up to 54%, most commonly due to mechanical failure, deep infection and nerve palsy. Whilst hip arthrodesis can provide pain relief and patient satisfaction, conversion arthroplasty is associated with an unacceptably high complication rate.