Total knee arthroplasty has provided dramatic improvements in function and pain for the majority of patients with knee arthritis, yet a significant proportion of patients remain dissatisfied with their results. We performed a prospective analysis of 215 patients undergoing TKA who underwent a comprehensive array of evaluations to discover whether any preoperative assessment could predict high pain scores and functional limitations postoperatively. Patients with severe pain with a simple knee range-of-motion test prior to TKA had a 10 times higher likelihood of moderate to severe pain at 6 months. A simple test of pain intensity with active flexion and extension preoperatively was a significant predictor of postoperative pain at 6 months after surgery. Strategies to address this particular patient group may improve satisfaction rates of TKA.