I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and earned my undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. I worked as an engineer, designing surgical tools, for 5 years which led to my interest in medicine and surgery. I attended the University of Southern California for medical school, then returned to the Midwest for residency. Orthopedic surgery was a natural fit with my engineering background and the complex mechanics of the foot is part of what drew me to Foot and Ankle as a specialty. After completing my orthopedic Foot and Ankle fellowship, I practiced in Michigan before moving to Minnesota to be closer to my wife’s family. Twin Cities Orthopedics has been an excellent fit for me and I am proud to be part of such a high-quality organization.
In my time away from work, I enjoy being a husband and father. My wife, Elena, is also a physician, working as an OB/GYN at Abbott hospital. We have two young sets of twins, so our family is extremely busy. We are blessed with an amazingly supportive extended family to make it all work. In addition to spending time with my wife and kids, I enjoy singing, cooking, playing guitar, soccer, racquetball, golf and snowboarding.
Ankle Care, including Ankle Instability, Ankle Arthritis and Ankle Joint Replacement
Foot Care, including Complex Deformity Correction including Bunions, Flat Feet and Toe Abnormalities
Board Certified, American Board of Orthopedic Surgery
Fellowship in Foot and Ankle at Michigan International Foot and Ankle Center, Pontiac, MI
Michigan State University Orthopaedic Surgery Residency, Grand Rapids, MI
Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Hospital & Surgery Center Affiliations
Blaine Orthopedic Surgery Center
Maple Grove Hospital
MOSC- Minnesota Orthopedic Surgery Center
North Memorial Medical Center
North Memorial Ambulatory Surgery Center
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society
Orthopaedic Trauma Association
Achievements & Awards
Top Doctor Rising Star: Voted an Orthopedic Rising Star by his peers in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine (2020, 2021)
Dr. Tanner was interviewed for a KMSP-TV FOX 9 story about a TCO patient who suffered a severe ankle injury after her car was struck by a runaway trailer. He talks about the potential complications with such an injury, including arthritis. Watch the video at the link or below.
I would like to endorse Dr. Tanner to everyone who has foot issues. He is extremely talented very attentive to my issues. As an international level athlete back in the 70s, we had very few physicians that had a clue about musculoskeletal injuries, and fewer that knew how to treat them. So many of us baby boomers are wearing out, old injuries are becoming a very real quality of life issue. So dealing with multiple injuries is not foreign to me. Dr. Tanner is only one of two physicians who listened to me and fixed foot issue (the first time). In my experience that’s a bit of a rarity, since I am still waiting (because of COVID) to have both of my shoulders repaired/replaced for the third time. Super thanks again Dr. Tanner!
May 26, 2020
During my consultation with Dr. Tanner he spoke to me with confidence and concern. He described my condition and gave me a variety of options and supported my decision for surgery. My 23-year old son accompanied me to surgery and we were both very impressed and appreciative of the amount of time Dr. Tanner spent with us in pre-op. He asked questions, answered questions, spoke in understandable terminology, but was never condescending. He followed up with my son pot-op as well. My care from Dr. Tanner and his team has been excellent.
February 13, 2020
For the past 10+ years, I had been searching for an answer to my ever worsening ankle pain which was a result of a motorcycle injury when I was 19, and I’m now 60. Dr. Tanner reviewed my history and completed his examination of my ankle. On that 1st visit he felt that he could ease 50-80% of my pain. I was on board and we scheduled the procedure that same visit. The surgery went well and my recovery was a breeze. I was off pain meds within 3 days and moved to Tylenol after that. I’m now 11 months post surgery and have absolutely NO regrets. This has given me a new lease on life, waterskiing virtually every day this past August, to hiking in Ireland in September. Now I’m back to planning hunting trips with my boys.
September 4, 2019
I had a total ankle replacement in May with Dr. Tanner. From the first office visit to the last post-op visit, my wife and I were totally impressed with his knowledge and caring attitude. After the first office visit we had we ended up having a few more questions/concerns go through our mind. We called the office with the concerns and Dr. Tanner personally called us back to explain. He came up to my hospital room post-surgery to see how I was doing (not many surgeons themselves do that these days). At the six week f/u visit he took the time to thoroughly examine my ankle (not just having his PA look things over) and he was genuinely interested in my healing process. Many surgeons are a bit “aloof” but Dr. Tanner is not only knowledgeable but passionately concerned about his patients.
March 17, 2019
Seven years ago, I slipped down some stairs and broke three metatarsals. The emergency room doctor set me up with an orthopedic surgeon (at another practice) who recommended immediate surgery. Surgery was done and recovery went well until 4 of the 5 screws placed, broke in half. My orthopedic doctor recommended they be removed. I agreed. The removal did not decrease the pain, it was more difficult to walk. This ongoing situation caused me to not be able to join my daughters and husband in Paris, or in Spain, or London or Uruguay, or Portugal.all on separate trips. I couldn’t walk.
I was then referred to Twin Cities Orthopedics by my primary care physician, who is so great by the way. My first appointment with Dr. Tanner was great. He was thorough, professional and very concerned about my expectations for outcomes. He was able to fit my surgery into his schedule. The Blaine Orthopedic Surgery Center is outstanding! As a nurse, I have been in and experienced many but this was extraordinary, from facility to nursing care. Thank you Blaine.
My after care was handled at TCO Blaine. The reception staff is great always gracious and welcoming. There is coffee and a daily paper available, along with wheelchairs out front and umbrellas! The whole facility has easy access and great directional signs telling you where to go.
Now for the most important, follow up and how’s my foot. I had my follow up appointment with Christopher Romanowicz, PA – what a great guy. He’s intelligent, able to communicate clearly the status of the foot, helpful with suggestions for comfort measures, honest about status of foot. He’s a no “BS” guy and I appreciate that. My visits with him every two weeks really helped me make it through this painful surgery.
I’m 3 months out from surgery and want to say, thank you Dr. Tanner, Chris, and the entire staff at the Blaine Surgery Center. Twin Cities Orthopedics has significantly improved my life. Hopefully this year I’m off to the Azores. Thank you.
August 22, 2018
Dr. Tanner provided expert surgical repair of my broken ankle which occurred when my leg went out from under me in the yard. He clearly is an expert in repairing this injury and despite the 2.5 months of immobility which were very difficult, I am grateful to him that I can walk again without pain.
August 17, 2018
So pleased that I had Dr. Tanner do my foot surgery. I was having a lot of problems with my foot after an injury. He was able to do the repairs needed on a complex surgery and he did such a fantastic job! I’ve been able to get back to being active again. He was very kind, caring and friendly, along with all staff involved. I would highly recommend Dr. Tanner as an excellent doctor.
August 7, 2018
Dr. John Tanner is a great foot surgeon. About a year ago I had bunion surgery and the foot realigned. It turned out wonderful. It looks beautiful! I am back to walking over a mile a day. Dr. Tanner explained everything in a way I could understand and was very patient with all my questions. He also has a great staff to support him. Next month I will be having my other foot done. I highly recommend Dr. Tanner to anyone who needs foot surgery.
June 1, 2018
I had surgery on my foot and I had the wonderful Dr. Tanner. He was the best. He took real good care of me and I will tell everyone if you have feet problems go to Dr. Tanner – he is the best. My foot looks great. It is now nice and straight – it’s perfect.
March 23, 2018
Dr. Tanner is a great doctor. He is knowledgeable and takes the time for his patients. He has great bedside manners and is open to any question that may arise. My family loved how he explained things through his post-op. Follow up care was great as well! I would recommend Dr. Tanner to anyone including my friends and family!!!
November 27, 2017
I am very grateful that Dr. Tanner was on-call the night of my auto accident. He saved my foot! Both of the attending ER and Trauma physicians told me that I was very fortunate to have Dr. Tanner doing my emergency surgery and that he was considered the foot and ankle expert at North Memorial. Dr. Tanner and the rest of the medical staff at Twin Cities Ortho are really top notch. I would recommend him and TCO to anyone needing surgery, physical therapy, or looking to reduce pain and increase mobility.
May 7, 2017
I just want to tell Dr. Tanner I’m very grateful for his service when I was in an auto accident and he took my case to put me back together. He no longer lives in my area but I wanted to find him and thank him! If you are a current patient of Dr. Tanner you are in good hands!