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Erik R. Dorf, M.D.
Verified Patient Rating: 4.94 (32 patient reviews and ratings)
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Elbow, Hand, Orthopaedic Trauma, Shoulder, Sports Medicine, Wrist

Shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hands represent some of the body’s most difficult surgical environments. Packed with tiny nerves, blood vessels, and complicated anatomy, upper extremity surgeons have to be comfortable working with delicate tissues that most orthopaedists would rather avoid. But Dr. Dorf has never shied away from challenge.

After completing his orthopaedic surgery residency at the University of Virginia, Dr. Dorf completed his hand and upper extremity fellowship with the renowned president of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Dr. Andrew Koman, at Wake Forest University, Baptist Medical Center. During this single year of additional training, Dr. Dorf performed over 1,000 upper extremity surgical procedures.  

Being able to relate well with people from all walks of life is an important skill for surgeons, but for Dr. Dorf, it has been a driving force. He places a high priority on getting to know his patients as people, how they live, what’s important to them, and what support systems will be available to them during rehabilitation. Dr. Dorf credits his extensive fellowship training with his ability to remain calm and be creative even in the most stressful situations.

In addition to being team physician for Summit High School and Team Summit, Dr. Dorf is also an active member of the US Ski & Snowboard Physician Pool, and enjoys the challenges associated with the care of high level athletes. “From my perspective, every one of my patients deserves the highest level of care. We all live here because we enjoy our hobbies, athletics, and outdoor activities. My goal is to get my patients back to the level of performance they achieved before their injury.”

Dr. Dorf is board-certified with the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. Born and raised in Eagle County, Dr. Dorf has 5 years of post graduate experience with Vail-Summit Orthopaedics since completing his residency in 2008. Dr. Dorf was a cyclist, skier, and hockey player before becoming an orthopaedic surgeon, and he still enjoys these activities, in addition to spending time with his wife and two children.


Education & Training

  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology: Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT
  • Pre-Medical Education: University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO
  • Doctor of Medicine: University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO
  • Orthopaedic Surgery Residency: University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA
  • Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery Fellowship: Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC


  • Board Certification: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) in Surgery of the Hand

Professional Association

  • American Society for Surgery of the Hand
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Team Affiliations

  • Team Summit Colorado
  • US Ski Team

Hospital Affiliations

  • Vail Valley Medical Center
  • Summit Medical Center
  • Vail Valley Surgery Center
  • Edwards Surgery Center
  • Peak One Surgery Center


  • Team Physician, US Ski Team
  • Medical Advisory Committee, Summit Medical Center
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Western University
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Virginia
  • Peer Review Committee, Summit Medical Center


  • 2015: Highest Patient Satisfaction Score, Summit Medical Center
  • 2015: 2nd Place Age 40-50 Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race
  • 2014: Subspecialty Certificate for Surgery of the Hand
  • 2013: 4th Place Age 40-50 Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race
  • 2013: 1st Place Grand Fondo Division Mount Evans Hill Climb Bike Race
  • 2004-2008: Numerous Journal Publications, Book Chapters and Invited Articles
  • 2005: 4th Annual AOA-OREF-Zimmer Resident Leadership Award
  • 2004: UVA Award for Highest Orthopedic In-Training Exam Score
  • 2003: Junior Resident of the Year, University of Virginia, Department of Orthopedics
  • 2000: Award for Academic Excellence during second year medical school
  • 1998: First Place: World Alpine Synchro Ski Championships
  • 1994: Community Service Award for work with Building With Books

Journal Publications

  • Schoderbek RJ, Battaglia TC, Dorf ER, Kahler DM. Traumatic hemipelvectomy: case report and literature review. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2005 Jun; 125(5): 358-62. 
  • Dorf E, Belzile E, Foster W. Chondrosarcoma Adjacent to Total Knee Arthroplasty Presenting as Osteolysis. The Journal of Arthroplasty. Accepted, in revision.
  • Dorf E, Kuntz A, Kelsey J, Holstege CP. Lidocaine-induced altered mental status and seizure following hematoma block. J Emerg Me. J Emerg Med. 2006 Oct; 31(3): 251-3.
  • Pannunzio M, MD , Dorf E MD, Chhabra AB, MD, Multiple Ganglion Cyst Formation on a Flexor Tendon After Surgical Release of a Trigger Finger: A Case Report. Am J Orthop. 2006 May; 35(5): 237-9.
  • Dorf E MD, Chhabra AB MD A, McGinty J MD, Golish R MD, PhD, Pannunzio M MD, The Effect of Elbow Position on Grip Strength in the Evaluation of Lateral Epicondylitis. Journal of Hand Surg 2007; 32A: 882–886.
  • University of Virginia, Department of Orthpaedics Intern Core Curriculum: An introduction to basic orthopedic principles through a selective literature review. Conceived and edited by Dorf E MD. Approved by faculty and incorporated into resident educational curriculum June 2004.

Hand Pain or Numbness

Hand pain or numbness can be prevented by wearing padded cycling gloves that provide cushioning. You should ride with your elbows slightly bent,...

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Dr. Erik Dorf talks recovery with MTN Town Magazine

In an interview with MTN Town Magazine's Sydney Fox, Dr. Erik Dorf talked about injury and rehabilitation. Here is an excerpt of the interview...

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Dr. Erik Dorf talks injury prevention and rehabilitation with MTN Town Magazine

In an interview with MTN Town Magazine's Sydney Fox, Dr. Erik Dorf talked about injury and rehabilitation. Here is an excerpt of the interview...

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A Better Way to Repair Partially Torn Rotator Cuffs

The shoulder business is more what I would call elective surgery here in ski country. In the fall and the spring, I typically see 2-3 rotator cuff...

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10 most common orthopaedic injuries: tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is a painful condition of the elbow caused by overuse. Most people associate tennis elbow with racquet sports such as tennis, where...

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10 most common orthopaedic injuries: stress fracture

A stress fracture is a tiny crack in the bone caused by repetitive overload. Ankles and feet are the most common sites of stress fractures. People...

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10 most common orthopaedic injuries: plantar fasciitis (heel pain)

Continuing with our look at the "10 most common orthopaedic injuries", today we focus on plantar fasciitis... a painful condition affecting the...

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10 most common orthopaedic injuries: dislocated shoulder

Continuing our series on the ‘10 most common orthopaedic injuries’, today we take a look at shoulder injuries, which are common particularly among...

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10 most common orthopaedic injuries: ankle sprain

In this series, we're looking at the 10 most common orthopaedic injuries, which are: Ankle sprain, Plantar fasciitis, Tennis elbow, ACL injury,...

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10 most common orthopaedic injuries

Musculoskeletal conditions are among the most disabling and costly medical problems suffered by people in this country. As the U.S. population...

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Dr. Erik Dorf named medical director for Team Summit

Board-certified, fellowship-trained upper extremity and sports medicine surgeon...

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Vail-Summit Orthopaedics’ Doctors Featured on Becker’

All of our doctors were recently featured in Becker’s “Orthopedic Specialist to Know” section. 

To read...

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Vail Summit Orthopaedics Alpine Town Series

The Vail Summit Orthopaedics Alpine Town Series kicked off the season with Giant Slalom racing at Golden Peak on Thursday, January 14 hosted by...

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Dr. Erik Dorf performs surgery on Kaya Turski

Dr. Erik Dorf, an upper extremity specialist with Vail Summit Orthopaedics and US Ski Team physician, performed surgery last week on slopestyle...

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Dr. Erik Dorf talks race recovery with Summit Daily News

The Summit Daily News talks with Vail Summit Orthopaedics upper extremity specialist Dr. Erik Dorf about race recovery for cyclists and trail...

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Dr. Erik Dorf Earns Membership into The American Society for Surgery of the Hand

Dr. Erik Dorf is now a member of The American Society for Surgery of the Hand. A Fellowship trained surgeon with Vail Summit Orthopaedics, Dr...

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Hand Surgeon, Dr. Erik Dorf, Earns Prestigious Certification

[Edwards, CO] – Dr. Erik Dorf has earned an additional certification known as the Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand. This...

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“Dr. Dorf is a great doctor. From my first appointment I was confident that my shoulder injury would properly be taken care of. Dr.Dorf and his staff has done an amazing job, making sure I understand what is going on with my care. ”
– Sara B.
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