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C. Benjamin Ma


Orthopedic surgeon
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 vice chair of adult clinical operations at the UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

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 School of Medicine, MD, 1996

  • Fellowships

    University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Musculoskeletal Research, 2002

    Hospital for Special Surgery, Shoulder and Knee Surgery/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
    608 Ratings
    About our process
    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
    Feb 01, 2022
    Grateful that the provider was able and willing to communicate in my only language which is not English.
    Jan 21, 2022
    I don't know that I have a good sense of how to evaluate my options but the provider did say they would be in touch after ordering more X-rays to see what I'd be a candidate for.
    Jan 11, 2022
    The experience was good he was concerned explained his concern and gave me suggestions/instructions as to what needed to be done about his concerns. I will follow his instructions. He is the BEST!
    Jan 07, 2022
    Dr Ma is very technical/clinical. I made sure his fellow explained things first before Dr Ma came in so I had an idea of what I might expect. Dr Ma sketched out the technical details of some of the procedure but I still feel I got more out of the fellow. Dr Ma insists in showing me MRIs. Those are just black and grey blobs to me. I am sure he is teaching his residents but he seems to also expect that I am going to know what he is talking about. He points to something and says as you can see...something technical something technical something technical... I nod because he is looking at me waiting for a response but really it means nothing to me. I have no idea what I am agreeing to. My mom had knee replacement with Dr. Ward in 2021. His method is much better. He showed her on her knee where he would be cutting then used a model of the knee to show where he would be cutting then used a model of the replacement to show what he would be putting in and finally talking about what to expect after that. This is a much better method for a non technical audience. Although Dr Ma did show me in my x-ray where/why my shoulder is higher than it should be and why it was like that. That was very illuminating. Dr. Ma's manner can be a little intimidating. He is such a self-assured and strongly opinioned personality that I am afraid to speak up.
    Dec 17, 2021
    I felt a high level of confidence in my provider
    Nov 24, 2021
    Dr Ma has tremendous concern for and interest in his patients. I felt he reached out to me above and beyond what I would expect in a pre-op and post-operative situation.
    Oct 20, 2021
    Dr. Ma responds to my follow-up questions very quickly and comprehensively through your portal he goes above and beyond.
    Oct 06, 2021
    I'm confident that he's great at his specialty but I found him to be a little brusque - i.e. Seemed to rush thru explanations of my injury. However that might be because he's ordering me an MRI to determine more specific info about it. He did ask me more than once if I had questions - but I couldn't think of any at the moment! Later I wish I'd asked him what questions he would think I would/should have - or what are some typical questions others with my same issue have had in the past.
    Sep 19, 2021
    Dr. Ma does not beat around the bush. He said I will be seeing him for awhile. Good visit got to go back to work 3 days a week
    Sep 13, 2021
    I felt very confident about his diagnosis both from what he said and how he said it. It was one of my best doctor experiences.
    Jul 27, 2021
    Extremely thorough and clear discussion about my condition and steps I needed to take to continue my recovery.
    Jun 26, 2021
    I don't know what I do now but guess I have to see about Kaiser. Dr. Ma sent his info to doctors I previously saw at Kaiser though they said they couldn't help me so I got the UCSF referral for a second opinion.
    Jun 25, 2021
    Some of the instructions did include an exercise that my physical therapist told me NOT to do.
    Jun 11, 2021
    Dr Ma is the very best physician. He is always smiling and upbeat and he has given me wonderful care. This was a 5 year checkup for my should replacement surgery. He has been consistently attentive to me and my concerns and has explained everything to me in a way I can understand. I feel very lucky to have him as my orthopedic surgeon.
    Jun 05, 2021
    Dr. Ma is a gem! His expertise is so reassuring for me as having both my shoulders replaced was an extremely important undertaking and the results have been remarkable; life changing! Also he has a light positive efficient but relaxed attitude every time we meet that is very encouraging. I recommend him every time I talk to anyone about my procedures.
    May 28, 2021
    Amazing doctors technicians and staff across the board. friendliest front desk personnel ever! but everyone I've met within the entire suite is beyond helpful friendly concerned and goes over and above to make me feel cared for and welcomed. Truly an amazing place!
    May 28, 2021
    Dr Ma is the best provider I have ever had. he was thorough explained everything and never felt rushed. I felt like he genuinely cared and was very enjoyable to be around. This has been the best experience with the healthcare system I have ever had. you all run a very good operation.
    May 15, 2021
    Everything about this provider his team and the office staff is top notch well thought out and highly efficient. At the same time they are friendly and create a positive environment.
    Apr 23, 2021
    Felt a bit rushed not enough time to ask all questions or know all next steps
    Decorative Caduceus

    MOON Shoulder Instability-Cohort of Patients Undergoing Operative Treatment.

    Patients will fill out PRO's after surgery