Between 1979 and 1995, 34 knees in 31 patients had a revision or reimplantation total knee arthroplasty in which the patellar component could not be reinserted. The patellar bone stock in each of those cases was compromised markedly and precluded adequate prosthetic fixation. The mean followup after the revision operation was 3.5 years (range, 2-14 years). The Knee Society knee score improved from a mean of 59 points preoperatively to a mean of 75 points postoperatively. The function score improved from a mean of 46 points preoperatively to a mean of 69 points postoperatively. Complications occurred in five patients: one patient sustained a patellar fracture that required no additional treatment; one experienced intermittent episodes of patellar subluxation; one had a recurvatum deformity develop and was treated with a brace; one had persistent knee stiffness and had four manipulations: and one patient had an extensor lag of 30° develop. Twenty-six patients were satisfied with the results of their revision operations and five were dissatisfied. Ten patients had persistent knee symptoms referable to the patellofemoral articulation: mild pain in three; moderate pain in six; and severe pain in one. This study suggests that resection of the patellar component during revision or reimplantation total knee arthroplasty may be a reasonable approach for patients with markedly compromised patellar bone stock; however, mild or moderate anterior knee pain can be expected to persist in as much as ⅓ of these patients.