Erich Gauger, MD

Erich Gauger, M.D.Subspecialty: Hand, Upper Extremity and Microvascular Surgeon

Fellowship-trained, board-certified Orthopaedic Surgeon specializing in the treatment of injuries to the upper extremity including:

  • Entire upper extremity trauma from the shoulder to the fingertips

  • Surgical and non-surgical treatment of disorders of the hand, wrist, and elbow

  • Surgical correction of the upper extremity for patients with rheumatoid or other inflammatory arthritis

  • Complex elbow reconstruction

  • Arthroscopy of the upper extremity

  • Joint Replacement of the upper extremity

  • Wide Awake Surgery

  • Targeted Muscle Reinnervation

  • Nerve repair and transfers

  • Tendon repair and transfers


  • Undergraduate education at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA
    • Bachelor of Science, Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude
  • Doctor of Medicine from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL
    • Distinguished graduate
  • Surgical Internship at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University in Chicago, IL
  • Orthopaedic Surgery Residency at University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN
  • Hand and Upper Extremity Fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN

Career Experience

Upon completion of residency, Dr. Gauger entered active duty military service as a Major in the United States Air Force at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He served as a staff Orthopaedic Surgeon and a team physician for the United States Air Force Preparatory School and the Varsity Hockey Team. He also completed a combat deployment to Bagram Airfield outside of Kabul, Afghanistan as a part of the 455th Expeditionary Medical Group. Dr. Gauger received the Army Achievement Medal for providing vital medical treatment to critically injured soldiers on November 12, 2016.

His research can be found in such publications as Journal of Hand Surgery, Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Clinical Orthopaedic and Related Research, Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma, Orthopedics, and Injury. He has also contributed to several textbooks including the Year Book of Hand and Upper Limb Surgery, Wrist and Elbow Arthroscopy: A Practical Surgical Guide to Techniques and Master Techniques of  Orthopaedic Surgery: The Elbow. Dr. Gauger has presented research at the local, regional, national and international level.

Professional Membership

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons – Active Fellow

American Society for Surgery of the Hand – Candidate Fellow

American Association for Hand Surgery – Candidate Member 


Dr. Gauger was born and raised in Falcon Heights, MN. His education, medical training, and military commitment have taken him all over the United States with Minnesota being his one true home. He enjoys spending time with his wife and family, traveling, working out, downhill and water-skiing, art history and ceramics.