We evaluated the radiographic and functional status of a one-piece composite tibial component, designed to be inserted without cement, that was developed and used only at our institution. Thirty-six patients (thirty-seven knees) were managed with the component between November 1981 and September 1983, and none were lost to follow-up. When they were last seen, thirty-four (92 per cent) of the thirty-seven knees had a well fixed tibial component, both clinically and radiographically. Eight patients (eight knees; 22 per cent) died. Eleven patients (eleven knees; 30 per cent) had a revision at an average of sixty-five months (range, four to ninety-five months) postoperatively. The reason for the revision was failure of a metal-backed patellar component in three knees, excessive wear of the polyethylene of the tibial component in one, a hematogenous infection in four, aseptic loosening of the tibial component in two, and chronic synovitis in one. The remaining seventeen patients (eighteen knees; 49 per cent) were seen for clinical and radiographic follow-up at an average of eleven years (range, nine to twelve years) after the operation. With removal of the implant as the end point, the cumulative rate of survival was 83 per cent at fifty-six months and 67 per cent at 108 months. Some of the failures were secondary to features of the prosthetic design that currently are considered to be inadequate, including a metal-backed patellar component and carbon- fiber-reinforced polyethylene. In the twenty-six knees in which the prosthesis had been retained, the implant was stable and the prosthesis-bone interface was unchanged as seen radiographically at the time of the most recent follow-up examination. This finding demonstrates that a porous ingrowth surface is capable of providing a secure interface for biological fixation over the long term.