A method and apparatus is provided for cutting bone. In one embodiment, a femur is resected by means of pattern plates having a cutting path with at least two continuous, non-coplanar guide surfaces. The cutting path has a similar profile to the interior profile of a femoral prosthesis. The cutting path guides a reciprocating, oscillating, or rotating cutting tool along a path for removing material from some or all of the distal femur to accept a distal femoral prosthesis. The cutting tool can be a cylindrical milling bit, and can even have a curvilinear profile to cut bone such that it has a three dimensional profile in cross section. Pattern plates can also be used to cut or remove material from other bones.