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A prospective study of patients undergoing lumbar disc herniation surgery.To assess patients' satisfaction with care/preoperative information, if expectations on surgical results and ability to return to work are related to baseline characteristics, and/or can predict self-reported outcome. Self-reported outcome was compared with objective outcome.Patients' expectations on treatment results have been discussed as a predictive factor for postoperative outcome and satisfaction demonstrated to be directly related to patient expectations.The study includes 148 patients, 46% women, mean age 40 (range 18–66). Before and 2 years after surgery, questionnaires about given information/care, expected/present work ability, and expectations on/obtained improvement of physical functions/symptoms (leg and back pain, sensibility, and muscle function) were filled in. The visual analog scale leg pain, Zung Depression Scale, and Oswestry Disability Index were used as baseline characteristics. At 2-year follow-up, self-reported and objective outcome was assessed.Satisfaction with given information/care were reported by 46% and 82%, respectively. Zung Depression Scale related to expectations on leg pain recovery (P = 0.022), work ability (P = 0.046), and satisfaction with given information (P = 0.031). Patients who expected to return (76%) and not return (24%) to work, returned in 78% and 26%, respectively (P = 0.021). A high agreement between self-reported outcome and objective outcome were found (P < 0.001).Patients undergoing lumbar disc herniation surgery are mostly satisfied with provided care before and after surgery, however, less satisfied with information provided. Further, patients with preoperative positive expectations on work return and realistic expectations on pain and physical recovery have a greater chance to be satisfied with the surgical results.