Radiolucent lines at the bone-cement interface beneath the tibial components were assessed in 91 consecutive Oxford meniscal knee replacements in 78 patients. Of 80 knees in which radio-opaque cement was used, a radiolucent line was observed in 77, with a radiodense line in the bone immediately adjoining. Radiolucent lines developed in the majority of patients within one year after operation. In 11 knees fixed with radiolucent cement (which precluded assessment of the radiolucent line) a radiodense line was observed beneath the lucent cement in all cases. Histological examination of the interface obtained from secure tibial components showed the lucent zone to be composed of fibrocartilaginous connective tissue and the radiodense line to be a thick lamella of bone. It is suggested that the living bone under a rigid prosthesis requires a layer of relatively compliant fibrocartilaginous material at its interface to accommodate load-bearing. Attention is drawn to the importance of the radiodense line: its presence may constitute positive evidence that healing at the level of bone section is complete and that equilibrium is established; its absence at a mature interface may indicate disequilibrium and impending failure.