Recent studies suggested that postoperative hypoxia might trigger invasive tumor growth, resulting in diffuse/multifocal recurrence patterns. Aim of this study was to analyze distinct recurrence patterns and their association to postoperative infarct volume and outcome. 526 consecutive glioblastoma patients were analyzed, of which 129 met our inclusion criteria: initial tumor diagnosis, surgery, postoperative diffusion-weighted imaging and tumor recurrence during follow-up. Distinct patterns of contrast-enhancement at initial diagnosis and at first tumor recurrence (multifocal growth/progression, contact to dura/ventricle, ependymal spread, local/distant recurrence) were recorded by two blinded neuroradiologists. The association of radiological patterns to survival and postoperative infarct volume was analyzed by uni-/multivariate survival analyses and binary logistic regression analysis. With increasing postoperative infarct volume, patients were significantly more likely to develop multifocal recurrence, recurrence with contact to ventricle and contact to dura. Patients with multifocal recurrence (Hazard Ratio (HR) 1.99, P = 0.010) had significantly shorter OS, patients with recurrent tumor with contact to ventricle (HR 1.85, P = 0.036), ependymal spread (HR 2.97, P = 0.004) and distant recurrence (HR 1.75, P = 0.019) significantly shorter post-progression survival in multivariate analyses including well-established prognostic factors like age, Karnofsky Performance Score (KPS), therapy, extent of resection and patterns of primary tumors. Postoperative infarct volume might initiate hypoxia-mediated aggressive tumor growth resulting in multifocal and diffuse recurrence patterns and impaired survival.