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C. Benjamin Ma


Orthopedic surgeon
Chair, Orthopedic Surgery
Cal team physician and advanced imaging researcher

Dr. C. Benjamin Ma is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine, arthroscopic shoulder surgeries to repair rotator cuff tears and ligament instability, shoulder replacements, knee ligament reconstruction, and procedures to address meniscus and other cartilage injuries. From 2007 through 2019, he was the chief of sports medicine and shoulder service at UCSF, where he assembled an outstanding group of clinicians, scientists and athletic trainers. He currently serves as the chair of orthopedic surgery at UCSF.

Ma is involved in research on cartilage imaging and dynamic MRI scans of knees with injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). His work has focused on early detection of cartilage injuries following ACL reconstruction surgery and improving ACL reconstruction outcomes. He has published extensively on the improvement of outcomes following rotator cuff surgeries and replacements.

Ma earned his medical degree at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, where he also completed a fellowship in musculoskeletal research. He subsequently completed a fellowship in shoulder and knee surgery and sports medicine at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Ma has received many awards for his patient care, teaching and research, including the UCSF Health Exceptional Physician Award; UCSF Excellence in Teaching Award; O'Donoghue Award from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine; Patellofemoral Research Excellence Award from the International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine; and New Investigator Recognition Award from the Orthopaedic Research Society. Also, his peers have placed him on the Top Doctors list in San Francisco and Marin counties for the past 10 years. He is a member of the prestigious American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons society, which honored his research with the Charles S. Neer Award.

  • Education

    Johns Hopkins University, MD, 1996

  • Fellowships

    University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Musculoskeletal Research, 2002

    Hospital for Special Surgery, Shoulder and Knee Surgery and Sports Medicine, 2003

  • Board Certifications

    Orthopaedic Surgery, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

  • Academic Title


It is a privilege and honor to have patients trust me with their care.

Where I see patients (4)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    662 Ratings
    About our process
    Dec 01, 2023
    Dr Ma was outstanding and I would say exceptional.
    Nov 12, 2023
    Dr. Ma and the entire UCSF staff from check In to surgery to follow up were professional polite caring & friendly. All went as well as I could imagine!!!!!
    Nov 07, 2023
    Very pleased with my doctor and feel confident I'm going to be better and my quality of life will improve greatly!
    Oct 10, 2023
    My care provider is very talented to the care I'm getting
    Oct 08, 2023
    I have complete confidence in Dr. Ma and have already referred him to other people I know who required his expertise.
    Oct 05, 2023
    Dr Ma would have been a great teacher because he explained things so well. I have total confidence in him and his team. I talked to the anesthesiologist nurse yesterday and she is awesome too I feel very comfortable with the surgery.
    Sep 26, 2023
    He is an enigma. But he very clearly likes to see his patients with great end reviews.
    Sep 25, 2023
    Dr Ma and his team far exceeded my expectations in every way!!
    Sep 23, 2023
    Dr Ma is great. Very concerned about your health I will always go to him when I need him.
    Sep 14, 2023
    Follow up was above and beyond. Best anesthesia team / experience I've ever had
    Sep 10, 2023
    Ma is consistently informed and informing.
    Sep 08, 2023
    All 3 Dr Ma the resident and the student were very supportive and answered my questions. Dr Ma drew on the paper that rolls on the patient exam table and drew all the details of the surgery the risks recovery time when to start exercising with physical therapy. Very black and white he understood that I needed that!!!!
    Sep 08, 2023
    I felt very comfortable with Dr. Ma he showed me great care and explained my treatment options for me to understand.
    Sep 02, 2023
    Dr. Ma is outstanding!
    Sep 01, 2023
    Dr Ma ALWAYS provides the best services ever!
    Aug 31, 2023
    All excellent!
    Aug 29, 2023
    I felt very well taken care of.
    Aug 15, 2023
    Good all s my experience
    Aug 12, 2023
    I would always recommend Dr Ma
    Jul 25, 2023
    Dr Ma was wonderful very caring and took time to explain everything. He is very different that most of the other doctors I have seen. Excellent doctor!!!
    Jul 21, 2023
    I have recommended Dr Ma to anyone I meet with shoulder issues.
    Jul 21, 2023
    Dr. Benjamin Ma was fantastic!!! He really took the time to examine my child and discuss treatment options in a detailed and caring manner. We really appreciate him helping us. Thank you so much!!!
    Jul 21, 2023
    Dr Ma is awesome
    Jul 20, 2023
    Dr Ma is one of the best!
    Jul 17, 2023
    I was treated very differently by an outside surgeon so transferred my care to ucsf and glad I did.
    Jul 11, 2023
    Wish he had done the first surgery.
    Jul 11, 2023
    Dr Ma was great. It's been a couple of years since he saw me last and he remembered me. He listened to my concerns and did a thorough review. His feedback and advice was reassuring.
    Jul 05, 2023
    Everyone associated with my doctor is fantastic. All great people.
    Jun 16, 2023
    I had developed anxiety and I could not ask for a more understanding and kind Dr. Also the surgery and my recovery was amazing!
    Jun 09, 2023
    Just seemed very rushed and in hurry only caring about the questions they needed answers for to fill out chart
    Jun 06, 2023
    Dr. Ma is the best!Great doctor with a great personality.
    May 23, 2023
    Dr. Ma is fantastic; he is thorough patient and explains all information very clearly.
    May 18, 2023
    Entire staff at UCSF are always engaging and polite.
    May 16, 2023
    Provider demonstrated zero empathy or compassion. Recommended "injections" (various types) as possibilities but didn't want to take the time to discuss the benefits and risk of those steps even at a high level and instead told me to come back and schedule another appointment with a colleague. I get that he does not perform those himself (he gives the impression that he's "too good" to be bothered with those remedies) but it's ridiculous for him to not be able to speak to their efficacy and risks. He also didn't talk about the other options or what the overall path forward looks like for my knees which I pulled out of him through direct inquiries that he thinks I will need a knee replacement and it's just a matter of time. Why did I have to direct the conversation and pull this information out of him like he's a hostile witness? I wonder if this is because I previously had a consultation with him in 2014 and went with another doctor instead and he's irritated that I did not select him and took this out on me in my visit 9 years later. Or maybe he's just a rude person. Either way I would not only not recommend him I would caution everyone to stay away from him.
    May 09, 2023
    Dr. Ma very unprofessional and would not want to see again
    May 07, 2023
    Dr. Ma made me feel very comfortable at every visit and surgery.
    May 05, 2023
    We love Dr Ma & always recommend him to others
    May 03, 2023
    A wonderful person and excellent surgeon.
    Apr 11, 2023
    I love Dr. Ma, he can do no wrong in my opinion.
    Apr 04, 2023
    Dr. Ma is the best. So grateful he is my Doctor.
    Mar 31, 2023
    Dr. Ma was great and was up to date on my chart. I feel like the fellow didn't open my chart until he stepped into the room. That bothered me.
    Mar 30, 2023
    After the care provider left room with students I was not clearly informed I was free to leave.I waited a few minutes before seeking out staff on my own to ask what my next steps were. Confusing and a bit awkward not too bad though. Sorta funny.
    Mar 21, 2023
    I cannot say enough positive things about Dr.Ma; really listens simple straightforward guidance and watch outs and genuine care great every- thank you!
    Mar 16, 2023
    Dr. Ma is an excellent doctor and very personable.
    Mar 16, 2023
    I have complete confidence in Dr Ma.
    Mar 14, 2023
    He is rather arrogant and spent his time mumbling to himself while running through my chart on the computer. I know he is among the best. I just hope he is aware of the woman attached to the shoulder.
    Mar 05, 2023
    100% would recommend Dr Ma with the highest confidence
    Mar 03, 2023
    Dr. Ma is the example for all physicians to follow. His expertise Is unparalleled but It Is his compassion that sets him apart. UCSF and me are indeed quite fortunate.
    Feb 18, 2023
    Dr. Ma is awesome!
    Feb 15, 2023
    Have already recommended Dr. Ma and his team to others! First class operation from start to finish.
    Feb 11, 2023
    I can't say enough wonderful things about Dr. Ma! Truly a great person and excellent doctor!!!
    Feb 07, 2023
    I would recommend Dr. Ma to others but I would not recommend the logistical staff.
    Jan 25, 2023
    Wonderful experience
    Jan 24, 2023
    Jan 20, 2023
    The best team ever! Dr. Ma is amazing.
    Jan 10, 2023
    Dr Ma is very good
    Jan 06, 2023
    Dr. Ma is wonderful! So kind patient and gave me all the information I needed
    Dec 30, 2022
    Dr. Ma was super knowledgeable and his residents were also as well as kind.
    Dec 30, 2022
    Dr Ma is exceptionally kind and personable in addition to being a talented doctor. I felt very reassured after expressing some anxiety regarding my upcoming surgery.
    Dec 25, 2022
    Excellent Doctor
    Dec 22, 2022
    Have worked with Dr. Ma before. He is a brilliant kind stellar doctor unlike many surgeons.
    Dec 20, 2022
    Too bad you have such a disgraceful phone system
    Dec 09, 2022
    Dr. Ma and his whole team are great.Special thanks to Tracy for her help.
    Dec 06, 2022
    The best medical experience one could hope for!
    Dec 06, 2022
    Was a great experience. Everyone was so kind and professional
    Dec 02, 2022
    Dr. Ma was excellent!He listened explained everything was friendly and approachable.I'm very happy with my visit with him.
    Nov 18, 2022
    Excellent is a better description for Dr. Ma! He is wonderful
    Nov 16, 2022
    Dr. Ma and team are the best!!! I am so glad that he is my provider.
    Nov 11, 2022
    I felt the doctor just gave me basic information regarding possible surgery. It would be good if he provided an explanation of how the rotator cuff worked. He had a model sitting there. Asked if I had any questions. But how would I know what questions to ask if he doesn't explain my condition in detail. Felt it was either surgery or not. Then left. Was pleasant and smiled but that informative.
    Nov 11, 2022
    Still no imaging done to encourage me to trust the strength of the second repair. I have consistently with good reason based upon the past failure expressed my lack of confidence in the strength of the reattachment.
    Nov 11, 2022
    Nov 06, 2022
    Dr Ma is an outstanding good physician. I'm super happy with what he had done for me. The outcome of my surgery was beyond expectations and I am so grateful to him for that.
    Oct 25, 2022
    I appreciated Dr Ma's thorough overview of the MRI his explanation of his exam findings his reflection of understanding my functional goals and his measured approach to deciding on next steps.
    Oct 21, 2022
    Dr. Ma is fantastic! Would recommend to anyone.
    Oct 16, 2022
    Dr. Ma is a consumate professional.
    Oct 13, 2022
    Did not meet my request for Additional MRI which I wanted as a point of reference to see progress
    Sep 25, 2022
    I had a very difficult time understanding what the doctor was saying. He had a tight fitting mask on his voice was low and I have a slight hearing loss. I could only understand 50% of what he said. He also spoke quite fast.
    Sep 23, 2022
    Dr. Ma is an exceptional physician in every way. He is extremely qualified. He is professional caring and most helpful. I am so happy I was referred to him for my shoulder replacement.
    Sep 20, 2022
    Dr Ma is very courteous professional and spot on with his assessment and treatment
    Sep 09, 2022
    Dr. Benjamin Ma is a very knowledgeable & caring doctor.
    Sep 09, 2022
    Provider was rushing to next appointment and did not have time to answer all my questions.
    Sep 02, 2022
    Dr. Ma approached me as a partner in deciding the management plan. He listened to my concerns provided treatment alternatives and partnered with me to determine next steps
    Sep 01, 2022
    Unfortunately I had a poor experience. The surgeon and I agree that we are not a good match for each other but through the surgeons authority he has ceased my care at the UCSF facility. I wanted to get my surgery at UCSF It took a couple months to be seen by the surgeon at UCSF and now I am devastated that I cant receive care at the UCSF facility.
    Aug 30, 2022
    Dr Ma is a very caring and knowledgeable physician
    Aug 16, 2022
    He is a very senior person and very busy. He was a little bisque and impatient but the most important thing is that I completely trusted his opinion.
    Aug 16, 2022
    How lucky am I to be in the care of Dr. Ma and his amazing team!!?
    Aug 12, 2022
    Dr Ma is an outstanding good doctor. This procedure changed my life and I am very grateful to him for that.
    Aug 09, 2022
    Excellent listening explaining the issues involved and giving treatment options.
    Aug 02, 2022
    Dr. Ma talks very rapidly and softly and I find it hard to hear and remember evefrything he said during the appointment. Trying to break in to ask him to repeat what he just said can be difficult for me.
    Jul 29, 2022
    I've already recommended one person to Dr. Ma who had the exact same surgery as I had and was equally as pleased. Dr. Ma is a miracle worker!
    Jul 22, 2022
    Do not totally understand why reverse shoulder replacement vs regular
    Jul 20, 2022
    Excellent experience all around
    Jun 14, 2022
    Dr. Ma is terrific across the board. I recommend him to people frequently along with UCSF.
    May 28, 2022
    Dr. Ma is an excellent professional with a friendly & knowledgeable approach to communicating with me as his patient.
    May 26, 2022
    Dr. Ma is unable to help me with this issue but has given me a referral to his partner. I am looking forward to meeting him.
    May 26, 2022
    Dr Ma is the best. I adore him
    May 24, 2022
    Dr. Ma is a great person and surgeon. I had an issue that I thought might have untoward results for the excellent surgeries he has provided for my shoulders. All is ok !!
    May 20, 2022
    Dr. Ma is always interested in my shoulder status explains and answers questions.
    May 18, 2022
    Provider was running 1/2 late. As a result my appoint was very quick. I had prepared to as questions the weekend before & felt like answers were quick & not delivered in a gracious way. Maybe he was not having a good day it happens.
    May 05, 2022
    Love love love Dr Ma!!
    Apr 28, 2022
    I had xrays done before seeing the Doctor but we didn't discuss or use them. I'm worried about how expensive those will be for not having been used at all.
    Apr 22, 2022
    He had to demo the standard tests for his half awake students but he and they would have learned MUCH MORE f I was able to demonstrate my abilities and lack thereof.
    Apr 14, 2022
    These ratings are based on Dr. Ma. The resident physician was very good.
    Apr 13, 2022
    Listened to my concerns responded by showing specific portions of my MRI to explain & respond. In response to a second concern he made a point to walk across the room to sit close to me and demonstrate his answer. Excellent!
    Apr 09, 2022
    I don't think they care provider took enough time or effort to determine the exact nature of my injury. The care provider was also not attentive when I tried to discuss a plan of action for the future. He merely said that perhaps overtime the injury would heal itself which is not likely considering it is probably torn cartilage.
    Apr 06, 2022
    Provider is good. Recommendations were relevant.
    Apr 05, 2022
    His explanation of why I need to return in 6 months was excellent. I was considering not returning for the follow-up (2 hour drive) but he convinced me with a simple explanation.
    Apr 03, 2022
    Dr.Ma's has given me great confidence in his diagnosis of my condition with a step by step plan for treatment. Dr. Ma demonstrates great concern friendly thoughtful & knowledgeable care toward me as a patient. He's the best!
    Mar 20, 2022
    I've always found Dr. Ma to be an exceptionally kind and concerned and intelligent/talented physician.
    Mar 19, 2022
    Very good Dr. Ma!!!!
    Mar 16, 2022
    I cannot say any more about Dr. Ma that I have not said before. He's simply the best! Mine is a worker's comp case but I wish I could have him as my regular dr.. Although not really because I'm sure he helps many more people with very serious conditions.
    Mar 15, 2022
    Dr Ma is the best!
    Mar 15, 2022
    Dr Ma is a great doctor from day one till now.
    Mar 12, 2022
    Very Bad experience with this physician.
    Mar 04, 2022
    Very easy with EMR MyChart
    Mar 01, 2022
    Dr Ma is the best. He listens and gives one confidence in one's recovery
    Decorative Caduceus

    MOON Shoulder Instability-Cohort of Patients Undergoing Operative Treatment.

    Patients will fill out PRO's after surgery