Survival and long term clinical outcome of surgical resection of intraspinal nerve sheath tumors in 131 patients was evaluated through retrospective chart review and interviews and examination of surviving patients. Gross total resection was performed in 112 patients (85.5%) and subtotal resection in 19 patients (14.5%). Five-year progression-free survival was 89%. The following risk factors for recurrence were identified: neurofibroma, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, subtotal resection, neurofibromatoses/schwannomatosis, and advancing age at diagnosis. More than 95% of patients had neurological function compatible with an independent life at follow-up. The rate of tumor recurrence in nonneurofibromatosis patients undergoing total resection of a single schwannoma was 3% (3/93), in comparison with a recurrence rate of 32% (12/38) in the remaining patients.