For 25-year-old Emily Mellen, running is everything. So when hip and knee pain started flaring up during her runs, she knew one thing for certain: She wasn't giving up her sport without a fight.
Departments, Centers, & Programs:
Sports Medicine Center
175 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA 02114-2723
Sports Medicine at Mass General Waltham
52 Second Avenue
Building 52, 1st Floor, Suite 1150
Waltham, MA 02451
- MD, New York Medical College
- Residency, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
- Fellowship, Hospital for Special Surgery
American Board Certifications
- Sports Medicine, American Board of Orthopedic Surgery
- Orthopaedic Surgery, American Board of Orthopedic Surgery
Accepted Insurance Plans
Note: This provider may accept more insurance plans than shown; please call the practice to find out if your plan is accepted.
Dr. Tanaka’s primary research focus is on the biomechanics, imaging and anatomy of the patellofemoral joint as it relates to patellar instability. She has produced over 80 articles, book chapters and presentations primarily focusing on this topic, and she and her colleagues were awarded the Patellofemoral Surgical Anatomy Excellence Award by the Patellofemoral Foundation and Arthroscopy Association of North America in 2014. She was inducted into the International Patellofemoral Study Group in 2017 and was the recipient of the 2017, 2019, and 2020 grant awards from the Arthroscopy Association of North America.
Dr. Tanaka additionally has interest in improving the understanding of treatment outcomes and injury prevention in female athletes. She directs the MGH Women’s Sports Medicine Program and was previously the founding director of the program at Johns Hopkins, created to promote multidisciplinary research, clinical care and outreach/education focused on female athletes. She aims to bridge clinical gaps for female athletes through collaborations with experts in multiple fields, while promoting educational outreach to prevent injuries in women. She was awarded the Community Partnership Grant by the Eileen Fisher Foundation in 2015-2016 for her work in organizing educational programs for injury prevention in local girls’ schools.
See a complete list of my publications via the National Institutes of Health.
- Tanaka MJ, Szymanski LM, Dale JL, Dixit S, Jones LC. Team Approach: Treatment of Injuries in the Female Athlete: Multidisciplinary Considerations for Women's Sports Medicine Programs. JBJS Rev. 2019 Jan;7(1):e7.
- Tanaka MJ, Tompkins MA, Fulkerson JP. Radiographic Landmarks for the Anterior Attachment of the Medial Patellofemoral Complex. Arthroscopy. 2019 Apr;35(4):1141-1146.
- Gans I, Retzky JS, Jones LC, Tanaka MJ. Epidemiology of Recurrent Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in National Collegiate Athletic Association Sports: The Injury Surveillance Program, 2004-2014. Orthop J Sports Med. 2018 Jun 13;6(6):2325967118777823.
- Best MJ, Tanaka MJ. Multidirectional Instability of the Shoulder: Treatment Options and Considerations. Sports Med Arthrosc Rev. 2018 Sep;26(3):113-119.
- Tanaka MJ, Chahla J, Farr J 2nd, LaPrade RF, Arendt EA, Sanchis-Alfonso V, Post WR, Fulkerson JP. Recognition of evolving medial patellofemoral anatomy provides insight for reconstruction. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2018 Oct 28.
- Loeb AE, Tanaka MJ. The medial patellofemoral complex. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2018 Jun;11(2):201-208.
- Patient Education
- Mar | 28 | 2021
The Women's Sports Medicine Program dispels five common myths surrounding ACL injuries in female athletes.
- Nov | 22 | 2019
As the number of female athletes increases, so do the number of ACL tears in the knee, prompting reconstruction surgery rates to rise three times faster in women.
- Dec | 16 | 2020
Episode #48 of the Charged podcast