Nathan Wanderman, MD, is a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the surgical and non-surgical management of conditions affecting the spine. He performs surgeries ranging from same-day minimally invasive procedures to complex revisions. He treats spinal disorders of both the neck and back, including disc herniations, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, spinal cord compression, spinal deformities, spondylosis (arthritis of the spine), spine tumors, and spine fractures.
Dr. Wanderman uses a targeted stepwise treatment algorithm that emphasizes conservative management first and surgery only when necessary. When recommending surgical treatment, he believes in using the least invasive option to achieve a successful and durable outcome. Dr. Wanderman utilizes the most advanced surgical techniques, including muscle-preserving approaches, motion-preserving disc replacements, stereotactic navigation, and cutting-edge biologics to deliver the best possible surgical outcomes for his patients.
Dr. Wanderman grew up in the west Twin Cities metro, graduating valedictorian from Hopkins High School. He then attended the University of Minnesota, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a triple major in Economics, Political Science, and American Studies, and was selected to give the commencement address. He stayed at the University of Minnesota for medical school, where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society as a junior for graduating in the top 5% of his class. He completed residency in orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic, followed by fellowship at the world-renowned Leatherman Spine Institute, where he trained with both orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons to learn the most advanced techniques in spine care. Dr. Wanderman has published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and presented his work internationally. He loves hiking, writing music, and traveling with his wife.
Learn More About Dr. Wanderman
Spine and neck care, including disc herniations, spinal stenosis, spondylosis, spondylolisthesis, myelopathy, spinal deformities, spine tumors, and spine fractures
Cervical surgery, including anterior and posterior decompression of cervical stenosis and herniated disks, artificial disc replacement, cervical fusions, and complex cervical surgery including cervical fractures, and revision surgery
Lumbar surgery, including minimally invasive decompressions and microdiscectomies, muscle spearing fusions for spondylosis and spondylolisthesis, open anterior and posterior fusions, and complex lumbar surgery including treatment of fractures of the lumbar and thoracic spine, and revision surgery
Spinal deformity, including correction of scoliosis and kyphoscoliosis, high grade spondylolisthesis, and flat back syndrome
Spinal tumors and oncology, including primary and metastatic extradural spinal tumors
Fracture care, including operative and non-operative management of cervical, thoracic, and spine fractures
Board Certified, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Norton Leatherman Spine Center Fellowship, Louisville, Kentucky
Residency in Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
North American Spine Society
Achievements & Awards
Mayo Clinic Nominee to AOA Resident Leadership Forum (2019)
AAHS, ASPN, ASRM Joint Outstanding Paper Session Podium Presentation (2018)
Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society; Junior Inductee (Top 5% of Class) (2014)
Summa cum laude, University of Minnesota (2011)
Phi Beta Kappa, Junior Inductee (2006)
After living with chronic back pain for over 20 years, I finally decided to seek help. After meeting with Dr. Wanderman, I found out that my scoliosis had worsened over 25 years to a 55-degree curve and included two herniated disks. Normal daily tasks had become extremely painful and I was preparing myself to accept that living with this pain was something I was going to have to do. Dr. Wanderman changed my life. He is professional, he listens, gives honest feedback, and is an advocate for his patients. My case was major. It included consulting other medical professionals, two surgeries and seven days in the hospital. I am now six months post op and I have zero (I never thought I would say that) back pain. Thanks to Dr. Wanderman, I can enjoy the things I love; spending time with my family, gardening, traveling, hiking, biking and so much more. This Doctor deserves so much praise, he saved my life!
May 15, 2022
I was treating a 12-year-old neck problem with injections, but they became ineffective. My conditions became severe, and surgery was needed. I had severe neck pain, pain down both arms, and a huge loss of strength in my left arm. I am employed as a pilot, so the loss of strength in my left arm meant that my flying career was over. Dr. Wanderman assessed my problem, performed surgery, eliminated the pain and my arm strength returned. He made it possible for me to keep my job and get out of pain. To me, he is a Superhero! He is one of the kindest, smartest, and most professional doctors I have seen in my 63 years. He provides you with detailed information in a caring manner. Words can’t express the appreciation I have for Dr. Wanderman.
March 28, 2022
Last fall my back was very painful and my ability to walk or stand was limited. I tried injections and various medicines, which had little effect. The condition worsened quickly and I was only able to walk or stand for short periods of time. Then I was referred to Dr. Wanderman. He diagnosed the problem and told me he could fix it, and he did. He performed spinal fusion surgery, which went well. I went home the day after surgery and had immediate relief. I regained my mobility and recovery went very well. I appreciate the care and attention I received from Dr. Wanderman and his staff, before, during, and after the surgery. They responded quickly to any questions that I had. Through the whole process, I felt that I was well taken care of. Thank you, Dr. Wanderman.
January 25, 2022
I have had lower back pain for years. I learned to live with my pain, using treatments that helped me cope. I have had several epidurals which gave me some relief from the pain, along with a variety of medications. In 2021, my back pain was the worst it has ever been. I love to garden, but found myself avoiding tasks I enjoyed to prevent flare-ups. Simple tasks like cutting the grass would be followed by two or three days of intense pain. I was miserable.
I made an appointment with Dr. Wanderman last fall. When I met him, he said that he was going to fix my back problems with surgery. Last April, my urologist informed me that the prostate cancer I had managed to fight off in 2018 had returned. Dr. Wanderman assured me that after the surgery I would live out my remaining years pain-free. I had my surgery in November 2021. It’s only been a couple months and I am happy to share that I no longer feel that miserable back pain which limited my life activities for so long. I am still on the road to recovery, but I am looking forward to getting back into my garden and yard this spring – pain free.