John C. Tanner, MD

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763-520-7870

FAQs

General

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Dr. Tanner’s elective practice is focused on treating problems in the foot and ankle.

The most common ankle procedures he performs are ankle replacements, ankle fusions, ankle arthroscopy, ankle ligament reconstruction, Achilles tendon surgery and ankle fracture surgeries.

The most common foot procedures he performs are flat foot reconstructions, bunion corrections, arthritis surgeries, hammertoe corrections and foot fracture surgeries. This includes fractures of the calcaneus, talus and Lisfranc joints.

In addition, Dr. Tanner works at a Level 1 Trauma Center, providing operative and non-operative care for hip and extremity injuries.

If you are a new patient, please arrive to your appointment early in order to complete the registration process. In addition, please bring the following:

  • Driver’s License or State ID
  • Referral (if required by insurer)
  • Insurance information
  • Copies of operation records, medical records, x-rays, MRIs and CT scans from prior doctor visits
  • List of current medications and any known allergies
  • Any orthotics or braces you currently use or have tried

It depends, as each patient’s situation is unique. If you have any questions, please contact your doctor’s care team before your appointment and we will be very happy to address any of your questions.

Yes, absolutely. The more information we have regarding your unique situation and past history, the better equipped we are to provide the highest level of care. Bringing any previous x-rays, scans, and/or documentation (if available) is helpful. If you do not have this information, don’t worry; additional images can be taken during your visit.

Ice should be used during the acute phase (first 24 to 48 hours) following an injury, or whenever there is swelling. Ice decreases blood flow to the area, which in turn decreases swelling and inflammation. Heat does the opposite. It increases blood flow to the area and can provide pain relief once the swelling and inflammation has subsided. Heat is good to use prior to doing any exercises or physical therapy as it warms up your muscles.

You can use the General Contact Form to get in touch with our care team regarding second opinions or contact us via phone to set up an appointment.

For arthritis, you can get cortisone injections every three to four months as long as they continue to provide symptomatic relief. Cortisone is not designed for tendon or ligamentous injuries. For some other foot and ankle conditions, we may only recommend one or two injections.

Some patients get immediate relief from a cortisone injection. For others, it may take up to two weeks for the injection to take effect. However, most people notice relief within two to three days. The duration of a cortisone injection can vary greatly. Some will last as long as a year, whereas others may last only a few days. It is also important to know that occasionally pain can get worse following a cortisone injection before it gets better. In the meantime, over the counter pain medications and ice are recommended.

Before your Appointment

Once your appointment is made, you will be directed to fill out a medical history form either prior to your appointment on line or on the clinic iPads.  When a patient sees me for the first time, my clinical staff will greet you and gather some information regarding your health history and symptoms that brings you in. We will discuss what additional means or diagnostic tests need to be performed to best assess your condition. Our x-ray staff will assist with radiologic needs right here in clinic, if necessary. We will discuss treatment options whether they are conservative, operative or both. My patient care coordinator is also available for further scheduling of tests or surgery as well. We will have a lengthy conversation about any recovery needs or expectations moving forward.

If you have records from another physician, provider or hospital, you may bring them with you to your appointment. If you do not have a copy, please contact the physician, provider or hospital prior to your TCO appointment to let them know we will be requesting them.

Yes, of course. Feel free to have family members or friends join you in your consultation. Many patients find it is helpful to have support in the room, even just as an extra set of ears to remember the details of the visit.

After your Appointment

After your appointment, or after surgery, you can expect prompt and accessible follow-up treatment. Care continues long after surgery and we want to be a part of your complete healing process. If you ever have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. My care coordinator will follow up with any of your needs or requests as necessary.

If an MRI scan or other diagnostic test was ordered, you will be called with the results once they are accessible. We will contact you at the number you provided in your registration, a brief message will be left if you are not available. If you do not hear from us within 7 days of your scan, please contact us. We will discuss your plan of care and next steps during this call.

If you have questions after your appointment, please feel free to contact my patient care coordinator, Rachael, at 763-302-2282. She will assist you with answering your questions or messaging me for further support.

After Surgery

Aftercare and rehabilitation will vary significantly depending on the surgical procedure. Specific details will be discussed in the office when you schedule surgery, on the day of surgery and also at follow up visits. If you have any specific questions or concerns that we do not address, please let us know.

After most ankle and many foot surgical procedures, a bulky splint is applied and is kept on for about the first two weeks after surgery. In some cases, patients are placed into a post-op boot or shoe with instructions on their weight bearing abilities. Wear loose fitting clothes to your surgery that will fit over a large splint. Loose shorts, sweatpants or a skirt typically work best.

After surgery a patient can shower or bathe keeping the splint dry. After the splint is removed, generally two to three weeks after surgery, patients can shower like normal. No soaking of the incision in any type of water until six weeks after surgery.

If surgery is performed on the left foot, patients can typically drive at any point if they are not taking pain medication. If surgery is performed on the right foot, it is typically safe to drive when you are fully weight bearing and not in a post-op boot.                

Most patients who are non-weight bearing use crutches or a knee scooter to get around after surgery. Either option will be arranged at your appointment before surgery. If you are going to be able to bear some weight after surgery, this will be discussed prior to surgery.

 

Some surgeries allow patients to weight bear right after surgery. Specific instructions will be provided at your appointment before surgery as well as outlined in your discharge instructions from the surgical facility.

The amount of time off of work will vary depending on each unique patient and each unique procedure. Please feel free to discuss this with us in your appointment or contact us directly with any questions. The time frame for recovery and resuming regular exercise depends on the procedure and the individual, but it is our goal to get you back to your regular lifestyle as fast as possible. You can discuss your likely recovery time at your appointment.

Each individual will experience different pain levels, but it is our goal to have you feeling 100% as soon as possible. To get an idea of the pain expectations for your individual case, please discuss with me at your appointment. Please note that we strive to get our patients off narcotic pain medication as soon as possible. It can be needed shortly after surgery, but we do not advocate long-term use of pain medication. We take pain medication very seriously and make sure it is necessary before signing a prescription for any patient. Always call with any pain concerns.