The aim of our study was the evaluation of correspondence among collateral ligaments and other soft tissue injuries detected by MRI and by intraoperative findings in a consecutive series of patients treated for simple elbow dislocation. After clinical and MRI examination, 16 out of 59 consecutive patients with moderate or severe instability after simple elbow dislocation were addressed to surgical treatment. There were 14 men and 2 women. The mean age was 39.6 years (range 16-69 years). MRI showed full-thickness lesion of MCL in 9/16 patients (53.3%) and partial lesion in 6/16 patients (40%), and in 1 case, the MCL was considered intact. On the lateral side, MRI showed complete injury of LCL in 7/16 patients (46.6%) and partial injury in 7/16 patients (40%). No lesions of LCL were observed in 2 patients (13.4%). MCL was surgically explored in all the patients. We observed 10/16 full-thickness lesions (62.5%) and 6/16 partial lesions (37.5%). LCL was surgically explored in 11/16 patients. We observed 6/11 full-thickness lesions (54.6%) and 5/11 partial lesions (45.4%). In 3 cases, associated soft tissue injuries were detected. The rate of concordance between MRI and surgical findings was 87.5% (14/16 cases) on the medial side and 90.9% (10/11 cases) on the lateral side. Our study demonstrated that MRI is a reliable and useful tool to investigate collateral ligaments and soft tissue injuries around the elbow and to plan the most adequate surgical treatment.