We have carried out a long-term survival analysis of a prospective, randomised trail comparing cemented with cementless fixation of press-fit condylar primary total knee replacements. A consecutive series of 501 replacements received either cemented (219 patients, 277 implants) or cementless (177 patients, 224 implants) fixation.

The patients were contacted at a mean follow-up of 7.4 years (2.7 to 13.0) to establish the rate of survival of the implant. The ten-year survival was compared using life-table and Cox’s proportional hazard analysis.

No patient was lost to follow-up. The survival at ten years was 95.3% (95% CI 90.3 to 97.8) and 95.6% (95% CI 89.5 to 98.2) in the cemented and cementless groups, respectively. The hazard ratio for failure in cemented compared with cementless prostheses was 0.97 (95% CI 0.36 to 2.6). A comparison of the clinical outcome at ten years in 80 knees showed no difference between the two groups.

The survival of the press-fit condylar total knee replacement at ten years is good irrespective of the method of fixation and brings into question the use of more expensive cementless implants.

  • Received July 27, 2001.
  • Accepted September 24, 2001.