Dr. Johnson began his practice at KOC in 1996 after an outstanding educational background that includes being valedictorian at Southeast Missouri State University. He earned his medical degree from Northwestern where he was granted membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He did his internship and residency at Vanderbilt before completing a fellowship in spinal disorders at Emory.

Dr. Johnson is a member of the North American Spine Society and the Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Society.

He enjoys the challenge of treating difficult spinal problems. Away from the office, Dr. Johnson enjoys cycling, running and canoeing. At home, he is often found in the kitchen practicing his impressive cooking skills.


Contact Information

Office Info KOC: 865-558-4400
Appointments: 865-558-4444
Office Location

Old Weisgarber Road
Fort Sanders West
North Knoxville Medical Center Physicians Plaza

Administrative Assistant


865-558-4425 or internal ext 4425

865-410-7886 or internal ext 7886



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What patients say about Dr. johnson

  • Thanks to my care at KOC, I can deal with the whole ordeal better. This man Dr. Paul Johnson, his excellent staff and the knowledge and professional experience I received is way beyond any situation I could've encountered. They really care about their patients.
    – Debbie, Knoxville
  • Thanks to my care at KOC, I can do anything I want. I go the gym and lift weight. Dr. Johnson made this possible. Great surgeon. I give him 5 stars out of 5.
    – James, Knoxville
  • Thanks to my care at KOC, I'm finally able to walk with my left leg without the searing pain I have endured for the last 6 months. My surgery is very recent, but I can say the care I received from Dr. Johnson and his staff cannot be described any other way than excellent.
    – Debbie, Knoxville
  • Thanks to my care at KOC, I can function without pain and numbness in my lower back and right leg. I suffered nearly a year with this pain and numbness. Dr. Johnson did a great job fixing my problem. He is a great doctor and has a great personality. I would and have recommended to others I have met with simular problems. I have also talked with several other people that he has helped with the same problem as mine. Dr. Johnson told me before surgery what to expect and how I would feel and he was absolutely correct.
    – Gary, LaFollette
  • Thanks to my care at KOC, I can do a lot of things on a daily basis that everyone takes for granted. Dr. Johnson had performed one surgery in Nov. 2016 and corrected one problem. But then I had another one. Lots of pain in my lower left back. He wanted to try a new procedure that he had never performed. I was in so much pain that I agreed to it after a lot of studying the procedure. He was so good. He sat down and explained everything to me on what to expect. Well my recovery time was unbelievable. I am pain free. I have a smile on my face all the time. Dr. Paul Johnson and his staff are great.
    – Vickie, New Market
  • Thanks to my care at KOC, I can now enjoy a quality of life I have been without for over 15 years. I was talking to a friend that was recovering from a 4 level spinal fusion. He was walking in a store, knelt down, got something, and raised up and walked like nothing was wrong. I asked him who did his surgery, and he replied Dr. Paul Johnson from KOC. I went home and called up KOC and that is when my life changed. I was told to send all of my records and the doctor would review them. Three hours later they called, set me up an appointment, and I was there 48 hours later. Dr. Johnson looked at me and basically said the only way to help you is surgery. I said my previous doctor said there was no way to help me. Dr. Johnson said well I think he is wrong. If you want to try, let's go.
    So in four weeks I made the best decision ever by letting him do my surgery. He took me to Parkwest Medical Center to do the surgery. He told me he was going to remove all the old rods and hardware and do it his way, the right way. Folks, I woke up after four hours of surgery and I will admit I hurt, but the nurses made me feel very comfortable. They were in my room every few minutes it seemed. The staff was excellent. The food was awesome. You couldn't ask for any cleaner or nicer people. Dr. Johnson came by and told me the details about my surgery and said I think you will be okay. I said really? He said yes, if you have any problems, call me. The very next day the PT ladies came in and ask if I wanted to walk. I said well I think I can. I got up with their help and let me tell you, I knew I was a changed man. I walked those hallways and walked stairs like it was nothing. Nothing. I was so amazed. My wife was crying and so was my son. They sent me home that day.
    I did exactly what they told me to do. This is the God's honest truth, on the third day, yes the third day, I walked outside without my walker and walked around my one acre lot without any help. I cried the whole time. I was pain free for the first time in over 15 years. I am currently two months post op. At my last check up Dr. Johnson said I was doing perfect. Everything was growing perfectly. I don't take a single pill for anything. I can walk five miles without stopping. I can sit at my son's senior year of basketball camp games without dying of pain. Dr. Paul Johnson was a gift from GOD and his staff are angels. Seriously, if you are thinking of surgery, he is the man. I will forever be grateful to Dr. Johnson and his staff. They saved my life.
    – Scotty, Newport
  • I can rest assured that Dr. Paul Johnson & his staff have given me the most excellent care, not only during the preliminary stages, but the surgery time, and the post op stages. He was understanding of my needs and concerns throughout the whole process. I would definitely recommend KOC and Dr. Paul Johnson for your spinal surgery needs. My experience and care has been A-1 awesome!!!!
    – Mary, LaFollette
  • Thanks to my care at KOC, I can finally have relief from the worst pain that I have ever experienced in my life. Dr. Paul Johnson from the first appointment through surgery and after care was exceptional above any I have ever received from a doctor. He explained what was wrong in my lower back which was a herniated disc pinching a nerve. He suggested fusion and decompression and explained start to finish what would occur. I had no doubt he was who I wanted to care for me. He did the surgery and when he came to the hospital room the next day, after examining my incision and lower back, he sat down and talked with me. I have never had a doctor do that and impressed me beyond words! I already have passed along his name if a doctor in his field was needed. I just wanted to let you know he kept his word and I never felt rushed. So thank you Dr. Paul Johnson. I can’t thank you enough and feel blessed with your care.
    – Sherri, Mascot
  • Thanks to my care at KOC, I can enjoy life without excruciating pain again! Dr. Paul Johnson provided a great first impression to me, shaking my hand and thanking me for calling for an appointment to establish with him. He took time to listen to my symptoms/concerns and really HEARD me. The suggestion he gave for my problem of an SI joint injection turned out to be just what I needed to start enjoying life without excruciating pain in my back. I am a mother of 4 young girls, including a one-year-old who has truly taken a toll on my SI pain, but now I can run around with my kiddos again, and sleep without being woken up with severe back pain - it's truly remarkable! All thanks to Dr. Johnson. I would HIGHLY recommend him to anyone seeking care. He will give you the personal attention you need.
    – Michelle, Luttrell
  • Thanks to my care at KOC, I have my life back!! I had spinal fusion and disc decompression done on November 6 by Dr. Paul Johnson and I can’t thank him enough for giving me my life back. My 27th wedding anniversary is February 14 and my 52nd birthday is February 19. I never thought I would ever be without back pain again in my life, but everything Dr. Johnson said start to finish went as he said and now not to have back pain at all brings me to tears because no words express my gratitude to him as well as his staff. This is the first doctor I’ve taken the time to thank and I hope my words will help others who are reluctant to have surgery. He’s an amazing person.
    – Sherri, Mascot


  • B.S., Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, 1985
  • M.D., Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois, 1989


  • General Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, 1990


  • Orthopaedic Surgery, Nizagara Online, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, 1994


  • Spinal Disorders, Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia, 1995

Began Practice At KOC

  • 1995

Board Certification

  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery


  • Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Society
  • North American Spine Society

Orthopaedic Specialty

  • Spinal Disorders and Spinal Surgery