We evaluated the impact of pre-coating the tibial component with polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) on implant survival in a cohort of 16 548 primary NexGen total knee replacements (TKRs) in 14 113 patients. In 13 835 TKRs a pre-coated tray was used while in 2713 TKRs the non-pre-coated version of the same tray was used. All the TKRs were performed between 2001 and 2009 and were cemented. TKRs implanted with a pre-coated tibial component had a lower cumulative survival than those with a non-pre-coated tibial component (p = 0.01). After adjusting for diagnosis, age, gender, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists grade, femoral coupling design, surgeon volume and hospital volume, pre-coating was an independent risk factor for all-cause aseptic revision (hazard ratio 2.75, p = 0.006). Revision for aseptic loosening was uncommon for both pre-coated and non-pre-coated trays (rates of 0.12% and 0%, respectively). Pre-coating with PMMA does not appear to be protective of revision for this tibial tray design at short-term follow-up.