The 74-year-old singer-songwriter had been due to play cities in Britain and Europe this year as part of the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, followed by shows in the US in 2022.
But he said a fall on a hard surface in late summer had left him in pain.
He said in a statement on Thursday that "despite intensive physio and specialist treatment, the pain has continued to get worse and is leading to increasing difficulties moving. I have been advised to have an operation as soon as possible to get me back to full fitness and make sure there are no long-term complications."
He said that "it is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I am forced to reschedule the 2021 dates of my Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour in Europe and the UK to 2023."
He promised fans that "the shows will return to the road next year and I will make sure they are more than worth the wait."
John said he planned to start the US leg of the tour in January 2022 in New Orleans.