The purpose of the present study was to review the long-term results of surgical arthrolysis of the elbow. We reviewed 16 patients, with a mean follow-up of 47 months. Elbow motion before, during and after operation was measured. DASH score, pain and patient satisfaction were assessed. We found a significant (p < 0.05) improvement in elbow motion postoperatively. The total arc of motion improved from 47 to 87 degrees. However part of the initially obtained arc of elbow motion was lost with longer follow-up when compared to the immediate postoperative result. Results were significantly (p < 0.05) better when performing the arthrolysis no later than one year after onset of symptoms. Treating an extrinsic contracture resulted in greater improvement of elbow motion when compared to treating an intrinsic contracture. The amount of improvement in elbow motion and the overall elbow motion achieved postoperatively correlate significantly (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05 respectively) with better results of the DASH score and the patient satisfaction score.