Introduction: The burden of Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) is large. Surgery is an important management option but the factors that shape patients' surgical decisions are not well understood. As prior reviews have explored only single data types or conditions, a mixed methods appraisal across the musculoskeletal spectrum was undertaken. Methods: A mixed-methods systematic, convergent segregated approach was used, with PubMed, Cumulated Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINHAL), Embase and PsycINFO searched to identify studies of adult patients' decisions about whether to undergo surgery. A narrative synthesis was conducted, with identified themes integrated across quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods studies. Results: Forty-six studies were included (24 quantitative, 19 qualitative and three mixed methods), with four decision-making themes identified (symptoms, sociodemographic and health factors, information and perceptions). Decision-making involves a complex interaction of individual sociodemographic, health and symptom information, integrated with individual perceptions of candidacy and surgical expectations. While most studies investigated hip and knee surgery, across all included conditions, patients are more likely to favour surgery if symptoms and/or dysfunction are higher, and if perceptions of surgical candidacy and processes (outcomes, inconvenience, and risk) are favourable. Other factors including age, general health, race, financial context, professional and non-professional communication, and information sources also impact decision-making but exert a less consistent impact upon the propensity to prefer surgery. Conclusion: Patients are more likely to choose surgery for MSD when they have higher levels of symptoms or dysfunction and positive perceptions of surgical suitability and expectations. Other factors important to individuals, have a less consistent impact upon the propensity to prefer surgery. These findings have potential to aid the efficient referral of patients to orthopaedics. More research is needed to validate these findings across the spectrum of MSD.