The results of a long-term study of 28 patients operated on for adhesive lumbar arachnoiditis are presented. The technique involved was microscopic lysis of adhesions. The first case of surgery was performed in 1966 and the last, in 1970, with followup through 1976. Numerous observations are made regarding the clinical picture and the appearance of arachnoiditis at the time of surgery. Some conclusions are drawn regarding the causes of this condition with some emphasis on the role of Pantopaque, multiple surgeries, and other trauma. The conclusion is that surgical attack on arachnoiditis is a straightforward surgical exercise that, when carried out with appropriate caution, produces no further neurologic deficits and some short-term improvement. However, the authors feel that this procedure should not be performed at the present time because there does not appear to be a method for preventing the reaccumulation of the scar tissue and subsequent recurrence of the symptoms.