s the surgical indications for total knee replacement (TKR) expand to include younger, heavier and more active patients, knowledge of the effect of these demographic variables on the outcome and survival of the implant is increasingly important. Between November 1986 and September 1990, 402 patients underwent 562 primary cemented cruciate-retaining TKRs carried out by a single surgical team. The overall results showed a survival of 96.8% at 14 years with 1.44% lost to follow-up. Evaluating the demographics of these patients showed that certain groups fared significantly less well. The best results were seen in non-obese women with osteoarthritis who were over 60 years of age in whom there was ten-year survival of 99.4%. The worst results were in obese men with osteoarthritis who were less than 60 years of age in whom there was a ten-year survival of 35.7%. Caution should be exercised when considering TKR on a patient with this combination of poor risk factors. By identifying demographic factors at the time of consultation the surgeon is better able to predict the survival of the TKR. This information is important when considering the best options for treatment of a patient and in providing accurate information during preoperative counselling.