Kerlan-Jobe physician

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Physician Bio

John M. Itamura, MD is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and shoulder and elbow surgery, with a special emphasis on conditions of the shoulder and elbow, including upper extremity arthroplasty and trauma. He is the Program Director for the Kerlan Jobe Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Fellowship and is a Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine.

After completing his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, he continued his studies at USC and received his medical doctorate. He remained at USC Medical Center and Los Angeles County Hospital for his internship and residency. He completed his fellowship training in Shoulder and Elbow Surgery at the WB Carrell Memorial Clinic in Dallas, Texas, followed by the AO International Fellowship in Hand and Upper Extremity at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a full-time faculty member in the USC/Keck Department of Orthopaedic Surgery for 16 years before joining Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute.

Dr. Itamura currently practices at the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute Los Angeles - Boyle Heights location, and performs surgery at both White Memorial and Keck hospitals. He is known for his expertise in complex cases with complicated medical and surgical issues, and he is widely regarded as one of the nation’s foremost experts in revision shoulder and elbow arthroplasty, upper extremity trauma, complex arthroscopic procedures, and infections.

Dr. Itamura is a team physician and consultant for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was formerly a team physician and consultant for the University of Southern California, USC University Hospital Center for Athletic Medicine, East Los Angeles Community College, and California State University, Los Angeles. He is active in several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, California Orthopaedic Association, and is a member of the prestigious American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons association and Wilson Bost Interurban Orthopaedic Club.

A prolific researcher and medical educator, Dr. Itamura has mentored many generations of residents and fellows throughout his career. He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters in orthopaedic surgery texts, and has presented extensively at the local, regional, national, and international levels, having given over 500 lectures to date. He has won numerous awards and accolades, including the prestigious Charles S. Neer Award in Basic Science and nearly annual awards by the USC Department of Orthopaedic Surgery residency program.

Clinical Areas

  • Shoulder and Elbow Arthroscopy
  • Rotator Cuff Repair
  • Labral Repair
  • Superior Capsular Reconstruction
  • Posterior Glenoid Osteotomy
  • Shoulder Instability Care – Latarjet/Bristow, Remplissage
  • Elbow Instability Care – Tommy John Procedure
  • Shoulder & Elbow Replacement – including reverse total shoulder replacement
  • Fracture and Dislocation Care- Shoulder, Elbow, Forearm
  • Scapular Winging Treatment
  • Cubital Tunnel Release
  • Shoulder and Elbow Infection Care
  • Cortisone Injections
  • Hyaluronic Acid Injections

Conditions Treated

  • Rotator Cuff Tears
  • Labral Tears
  • Shoulder and Elbow Arthritis
  • Shoulder and Elbow Trauma (Fracture/Dislocations)
  • Osteochondral Defects/Osteochondritis Dessicans
  • Avascular Necrosis of the Shoulder/Elbow
  • Elbow Ligamentous Injuries (LCL/MCL Injuries)
  • Congenital Shoulder/Elbow Conditions
  • Scapular Winging
  • Shoulder/Elbow Instability
  • Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow, Golf Elbow)
  • Shoulder Tendonitis
  • Biceps Tendonitis
  • Biceps Tendon Ruptures
  • Pectoralis Tendon Ruptures
  • SC and AC joint Dislocations
  • Cubital Tunnel Disease
  • Infections
  • Team Physician to the Los Angeles Dodgers

Recognition & Accolades


• Top Doctor, Pasadena Magazine - 2016
• Outstanding Teacher, USC Keck School of Medicine - 2011
• Outstanding Teacher, USC Keck School of Medicine - 2008
• Outstanding Teacher, USC Keck School of Medicine - 2007
• Charles S. Neer Award in Basic Science - 2006
• Outstanding Teacher, USC Keck School of Medicine - 2004
• Outstanding Teacher, USC Keck School of Medicine - 2001
• Outstanding Teacher, USC Keck School of Medicine - 2000
• Outstanding Teacher, USC Keck School of Medicine - 1997


• Tau Beta Phi
• Phi Betta Kappa
• Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
• Dean’s Research Scholar, USC Keck School of Medicine

Research & Special Projects

Curriculum Vitae