OBJECTIVE: We have limited understanding on the presentation and survival of primary spinal sarcomas. The survival, recurrence rate, and related prognostic factors were investigated after treatment for primary sarcomas of the spine. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of medical records and radiological data was done for 29 patients in whom treatment was performed due to primary sarcoma of the spine from 2000 to 2010. As for treatment method, non-radical operation, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy were simultaneously or sequentially combined. Overall survival (OS), progression free survival (PFS), ambulatory function, and pain status were analyzed. In addition, factors affecting survival and recurrence were analyzed : age (< or =42 or > or =43), gender, tumor histologic type, lesion location (mobile spine or rigid spine), weakness at diagnosis, pain at diagnosis, ambulation at diagnosis, initial treatment, radiation therapy, kind of irradiation, surgery, chemotherapy and distant metastasis. RESULTS: Median OS was 60 months, the recurrence rate was 79.3% and median PFS was 26 months. Patients with distant metastasis showed significantly shorter survival than those without metastasis. No factors were found to be significant relating to recurrence. Prognostic factor associated with walking ability was the presence of weakness at diagnosis. CONCLUSION: Primary spinal sarcomas are difficult to cure and show high recurrence rate. However, the development of new treatment methods is improving survival.