James L Chen MD

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Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon
Board Certified Sports Medicine Specialist
Advanced Arthroscopic Surgery
Anatomic ACL Reconstruction
Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair
Arthoscopic Meniscus Repair
Superior Capsular Reconstruction
Arthroscopic Knee and Shoulder Surgery
Arthroscopic Elbow, Hip and Ankle Surgery
Sports Arthroplasty (minimally invasive joint replacement)


UCSF Orthopaedic Surgery Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy, Fellow
Univ. of Hawaii, Queens Medical Ctr. Orthopaedic Surgery, Resident
University of California, Davis, M.D.
University of California, Berkeley, M.P.H.
Swarthmore College, B.S.




Dr. Chen is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques for the knee, shoulder, elbow, hip, and ankle. He has expertise in anatomic ACL reconstruction, bone-sparing all-inside ACL reconstruction, meniscus surgery, rotator cuff repair, shoulder instability, and superior capsular reconstruction for irreparable rotator cuff tears. His sports arthroplasty practice focuses on minimally invasive joint replacement of the knee, shoulder, hip, and elbow. He completed his specialty fellowship at UCSF in Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine, and Arthroscopy. He has published numerous articles on ACL reconstruction and has received the Thompson Award. He instructs residents at the San Francisco Orthopaedic Residency Program and medical students at UCSF School of Medicine. He is the Director of the San Francisco Sports Medicine Fellowship. He is Board Certified in both Orthopaedic Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine.

Dr. Chen enjoys helping his patients return to activity and has worked as a team doctor for college and professional athletes. During his time at UCSF and in Hawaii, he worked with the Cal Berkeley Basketball and Soccer teams, the University of Hawaii Football team and Kamehameha Schools athletics. He is currently the team physician for several local schools and organizations. He has worked with the USA Sevens Rugby team and Oracle Team USA, winner of the 33rd and 34th America's Cup. He is currently a neutral evaluator for professional athletes. He is the team physician for the semi-professional San Francisco City Football Club.

A native of Northern California, Dr. Chen was raised in Sacramento where he played soccer at Jesuit High School and for the Olympic Development program. He went on to play soccer for Swarthmore College and served as the team captain. He enjoys spending time with his wife and four children, playing soccer, running and skiing. 



Awards and Distinctions

Paul R. Lipscomb Award for Excellence in Orthopaedics, UC Davis School of Medicine
Loren D. Carlson Research Award, UC Davis School of Medicine
Vernon Thompson Award, Western Orthopaedic Association
Allen B Richardson Award, Hawaii Orthopaedic Association

Professional Memberships

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Arthroscopy Association of North America
International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine




Ma R, Lopez V, Jr, Weinstein MG, Chen JL, Black CM, Gupta AT, Harbst JD, Victoria C and Allen AA. Injury Profile of American Women Rugby-7s. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 2015 Jul; 47(5 suppl).

Chen JL, Allen CR, Stephens T, Feeley BT. Differences in mechanisms of failure, intraoperative findings, and outcomes between single- and multiple-revision ACL reconstructions: A MARS cohort study. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2013;41(7) 1571-78.

Sena M, Chen JL, Dellamaggiora R, Coughlin DG, Lotz JC, Feeley BT. Dynamic evaluation of pivot shift kinematics in physeal-sparing pediatric anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction techniques. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2013;41(4):826-34.

Szabo RM, Anderson KA, Chen JL. Functional outcome of en bloc excision and osteo-articular allograft replacement with the Sauve-Kapandji procedure for Campanacci Grade 3 giant cell tumor of distal radius. The Journal of Hand Surgery. 2006;31A:1340-1348.

Prayson MJ, Chen JL, Hampers D, Vogt M, Fenwick J, Meredick R. Baseline compartment pressure measurements in isolated lower extremity fractures without clinical compartment syndrome. Journal of Trauma. 2006;60(5):1037-1040.

Allen RH, Szabo RM, Chen JL. Outcome assessment of hand function after radial artery harvesting for coronary artery bypass. The Journal of Hand Surgery. 2004;29A:628-637.

Chen JL, Eno JJ, Mitsunaga MM. Short same-segment fixation of thoracolumbar burst fractures. Hawaii J Med Public Health. 2012