Open reduction and internal fixation of displaced fractures of the radial head were reviewed in 14 elbows. Follow-up averaged 32 months. The average elbow score for Mason type II fractures was 96.8 points, corresponding to 100% good or excellent results. Average flexion was 142.5 degrees, and the mean fixed flexion deformity was 3.9 degrees. There was no loss in grip strength. An almost normal elbow was the expected result. Good or excellent results were achieved in only 33% of Mason type III fractures treated with open reduction and internal fixation. The average elbow score was 72.9 points, and this was statistically significantly different than the Mason type II fractures (p less than 0.05). An associated elbow dislocation did not affect the results significantly, but was associated with a slightly increased fixed flexion deformity. Fractures may be more comminuted than suggested by plain radiographs, and intraoperative decision making is required in deciding between reconstruction or excision of the radial head. Excellent results were obtained provided an anatomical reduction with stable fixation and early range of motion were achieved. If a stable anatomic reduction cannot be obtained, then alternative treatment methods should be considered.