The fate of the posterior cruciate ligament in primary total knee arthroplasty is controversial. An algorithmic approach is presented that is based on pathologic criteria for evaluating and treating patients with primary total knee arthroplasty that will aid in the posterior cruciate ligament decision-making process, producing more predictable procedures and outcomes. A consecutive series of the first 120 patients (171 knees) who had primary posterior cruciate-retaining arthroplasty and the first 120 patients (180 knees) who had primary posterior-stabilized arthroplasty with a minimum 5-year followup in which the Maxim Complete Total Knee System and the algorithmic approach were used were compared. No statistically significant differences in outcome between the groups were observed. Among the patients who had posterior cruciate-retaining arthroplasty, no revisions attributable to aseptic loosening have been reported at an average followup of 6.39 years. The average followup Knee Society total score was 162.16 points, with 91 (54.8%) knees having excellent outcome ratings. No revisions attributable to aseptic loosening have been reported among the patients who had posterior-stabilized arthroplasty at an average followup of 5.98 years. The average followup Knee Society total score was 158.05 points, with excellent outcome ratings reported in 96 (54.9%) knees. The use of a standardized algorithm has streamlined the treatment of patients having primary total knee arthroplasty, consistently providing excellent clinical results when either retaining or sacrificing the posterior cruciate ligament.