The Swedish Spine Register enables monitoring of surgical activities focusing on changes in trends over time, techniques utilized and outcome, when implemented in general clinical practice. Basic requirements for a prosperous register are unity within the profession, mainly patient-based documentation and a well functioning support system. This presentation focuses on the development and design of the register protocol, problems encountered and solutions found underway. Various examples on how the results can be presented and utilized are given as well as validation. Register data demonstrate significant gender differences in lumbar disc herniation surgery with females having more pain, lower quality of life and more pronounced disability preoperatively while improvement after surgery is similar between genders. Quality of life after surgery for degenerative disorders is significantly improved for disc herniation, stenosis, spondylolisthesis and disc degenerative disorders. Over the last 10 years, surgical treatment for spinal stenosis has increased gradually while disc herniation surgery decreases regarding yearly number of procedures. An added function to the register enables more complex prospective clinical studies to include register data together with data suitable for the individual study. A common core set of demographic, surgical and outcome parameters would enable comparisons of clinical studies within and between nations.