Miho J. Tanaka, MD, PhD is a sports medicine surgeon recognized for her research in patellofemoral (kneecap) disorders and gender-based differences in orthopaedic injuries. She treats male and female athletes of all levels and ages. Dr. Tanaka emphasizes patient education and evidence-based treatment as the foundation of patient care, and she performs minimally invasive surgeries of the shoulder, knee and elbow.
Dr. Tanaka joined Massachusetts General Hospital Sports Medicine Service in July 2019. Prior to her arrival at Mass General, she was an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Founding Director of the Women’s Sports Medicine Program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Dr. Tanaka completed her undergraduate degree at Stanford University, where she was a member of the varsity track and field team. She earned her medical degree at New York Medical College, and she completed her orthopaedic surgery residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. After residency, she completed a fellowship in sports medicine and shoulder surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
She has served as a team physician for multiple professional, semi-professional and collegiate sports teams and currently serves as a team physician for the Boston Red Sox, Boston Glory and Boston Ballet.
As a former athlete herself, Dr. Tanaka understands her patients’ passion for sports and shares their commitment to excellence. She has published or presented more than 100 articles and book chapters with a primary interest in the anatomy and biomechanics of the knee. She has served on the advisory board for Under Armour’s Connected Fitness Programs, and currently she serves as Safety Officer and reviewer for several NIH/NIAMS grant programs.
Dr. Tanaka serves as chair of Multimedia for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and is a member of the Education or Research Committees for the Arthroscopy Association of North America, AOSSM and ISAKOS, promoting access to education for both patients and physicians. Additionally, she serves on the Electronic Media Editorial Board of the American Journal of Sports Medicine, on the Editorial Board for the Arthroscopy Journal and on the Associate CME Editor Panel for the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. She has been the recipient of the Shore Program Award in 2020, the iSolve innovation award in 2021 and the Magic Wand Award in 2022.
Sports Medicine at Mass General Waltham 52 Second Ave. 3rd Floor, Suite 3300 Waltham, MA02451 Phone: 617-726-7500
Sports Medicine Service Charles River Plaza 175 Cambridge St., 4th Floor Boston, MA02114 Phone: 617-726-7500
MD, New York Medical College
Residency, Johns Hopkins Hospital***
Fellowship, Hospital for Special Surgery
American Board Certifications
Orthopaedic Surgery, American Board of Orthopedic Surgery
Sports Medicine, American Board of Orthopedic Surgery
Accepted Insurance Plans
Aetna Health Inc.
Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
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Commonwealth Care Alliance
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Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - ACD
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OSW - Connecticut
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Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
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Tufts Health Plan
United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
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 more than 100 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 and 2021. She was inducted into the International Patellofemoral Study Group in 2017 and was the recipient of the 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021 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 Mass General 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. Dr. Tanaka currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Women's Sports Medicine.
Lampros RE, Wiater AL, Tanaka MJ. Rehabilitation and Return to Sport After Medial Patellofemoral Complex Reconstruction. Arthrosc Sports Med Rehabil. 2022 Jan 28;4(1):e133-e140. doi: 10.1016/j.asmr.2021.09.030. PMID: 35141545; PMCID: PMC8811515.
Tanaka MJ, Forman JM, Otwell AG, Frischmann LD, Jones LC, Szymanski LM.Characterization of knee dysfunction and related risk factors during pregnancy. Phys Sportsmed. 2022 Feb;50(1):78-83. doi: 10.1080/00913847.2021.1882277. Epub 2021 Feb 10. PMID: 33507121.
Tanaka MJ, LiBrizzi CL, Rivenburgh DW, Jones LC. Changes in U.S. girls' participation in high school sports: implications for injury awareness. Phys Sportsmed. 2021 Nov;49(4):450-454. doi:10.1080/00913847.2020.1852861. Epub 2020 Dec 10. PMID: 33210569.
Tanaka MJ. Femoral Origin Anatomy of the Medial Patellofemoral Complex: Implications for Reconstruction. Arthroscopy. 2020 Dec;36(12):3010-3015. doi:10.1016/j.arthro.2020.06.015. Epub 2020 Jun 20. PMID: 32569722.
Tanaka MJ, Oh LS, Martin SD, Berkson EM. Telemedicine in the Era of COVID-19: The Virtual Orthopaedic Examination. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2020 Jun 17;102(12):e57. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.20.00609. Erratum in: J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2020 Oct 21;102(20):e121. PMID: 32341311; PMCID: PMC7224627.
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Boston Red Sox team physicians and Mass General Brigham Sports Medicine providers Peter Asnis, MD, Miho J. Tanaka, MD, PhD, and Evan O’Donnell, MD, recently visited JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida for spring training.
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