Complex elbow dislocations (ie, fracture-dislocations) are challenging injuries to treat and may result in significant patient morbidity. Chronic instability, posttraumatic arthrosis, and poor functional outcomes are frequent. Orthopaedic surgeons should strive to optimize elbow function through restoration of articular congruity and stability coupled with early rehabilitation. Although most of these injuries require surgical management, not all complex elbow dislocations are equivalent. Understanding elbow biomechanics and the injury mechanism provides valuable insight into the variations of pathology that may be observed. Identifying the particular fracture pattern, such as an axial loading, valgus posterolateral rotatory, or varus posteromedial rotatory injury mechanism, helps guide appropriate treatment.