Purpose For adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients receiving operative (op) and non-operative (non-op) treatment, the relationship between HRQoL measures, complications and self-reported satisfaction remains unclear. The objective of this analysis is to study nonlinear association dynamics between ASD patient satisfaction, HRQoL, and complications over a two-year follow-up period. Methods From a prospective multicenter international adult spinal deformity database, all patients with 2-year follow-up data on satisfaction (21st question of SRS-22r) were identified and included. A total of 12 LOESS (local polynomial fit) regressions were performed between patient satisfaction (SRS22 item 21) and HRQoL measures (ODI, SF36PCS and SRS22 subtotal) interacting with surgery at baseline, 6 months and 1 and 2 years of follow-up. Results A total of 856 patients (527 op and 329 non-op) were included. At baseline, satisfaction was lower for patients scheduled for surgery even when HRQL was similar to those elected for conservative treatment. The nonlinear correlations showed that for similar PROMs, op patients reached higher satisfaction levels during follow-up, especially at six months. In fact, at six months operated patients with a deterioration of their initial PROMs had some improvement in their satisfaction, which could not be further observed at the end of follow-up. Conclusions Satisfaction does not correlate well with other PROMs, and it might be subject to other external factors not directly related to treatment. Even if patient satisfaction is important in evaluating well-being and patient's experience with medical care, it should not be considered as an isolated proxy to measure quality of treatment.