We studied retrospectively the outcome of patellofemoral arthroplasty (PFA) using the Richards prosthesis in 51 patients (56 knees). Their mean age was 50 years (30 to 77). In 43 patients (45 knees), the American Knee Society score and the patients' subjective judgement were assessed. Excellent or good results were obtained in 86% of cases at a mean follow-up of 17 years (15 to 21). Because of ongoing tibiofemoral osteoarthritis, two patients required a high tibial osteotomy and ten PFAs were converted to a total knee arthroplasty after a mean of 15.6 years (10 to 21). The PFAs were stable during follow-up with a loosening rate of only 2%. We conclude that a patellofemoral prosthesis is a good treatment option with successful long-term results in middle-aged patients with radiologically documented, isolated, patellofemoral osteoarthritis.