PurposeArthroscopy of the elbow has become a standard treatment option for many indications. The purpose of this article is to review literature concerning the use of arthroscopy for acute elbow injuries.MethodsThe main medical literature databases were searched for articles on the use of elbow arthroscopy in acute injuries. A total of 13 publications relevant to the topic were included. The Coleman methodology score was used to assess the methods of each article.ResultsAll published articles have been case reports or retrospective case series. In fracture treatment, arthroscopy has been used in the treatment of displaced radial head, coronoid and capitellum fractures in adults and displaced radial neck and lateral humeral condyle fractures in children with good results. Endoscopic techniques have been used in distal biceps rupture and medial avulsion of the triceps. And also new techniques have been developed for the treatment of intra-articular soft-tissue lesions like rupture of the radial ulnohumeral ligament complex. One of the 13 studies analyzed was considered of good quality, 5 of moderate quality and all others of poor quality with inconsistent methodology and outcomes.ConclusionThe range of treatments using elbow arthroscopy in acute injuries is expanding and brings new controversies and challenges. Single reports of arthroscopically treated bony and soft-tissue injuries of the elbow showed satisfactory results. However, further randomized prospective studies are needed to evaluate their safety and efficacy compared with open ‘gold standard’ techniques.Level of evidenceIV.