We present a three-dimensional (3D) analysis of a hybrid photonic crystal conventional waveguide 90° bend proposed previously [Opt. Express 10, 1334 (2002)] as an ultracompact component for large-scale planar lightwave circuit integration. Both rigorous 3D finite-difference time-domain modeling and a simple perfect mirror model analysis were carried out for different Si post heights in the photonic crystal region. Results show that the bend efficiency increases rapidly with Si post height. For a post height of 6.5 µm, this structure yields a bend efficiency of 97.3% at a wavelength of 1.55 µm for 90° bends in 2 µm X 2 µm square channel conventional waveguides with a refractive index contrast of 3.55%, which is very close to the bend efficiency of 98.2% for the corresponding two-dimensional problem. Our 3D analysis permits the examination of issues such as out-of-plane scattering loss and the effects of finite Si post height that are not considered in two dimensions.