Game on! Helping athletes of all ages return to play

When it comes to your health, are you able to do the things you want

When it comes to your health, are you able to do the things you want to do?

For Dr. Mithun Neral, an orthopedic doctor at Western Washington Medical Group, sports medicine has no one-size-fits-all solutions, but the goals are always the same: help patients return to the things they want to do, and use the most conservative treatments available.

“I take care of the complete spectrum of patients, from young active athletes trying to return to play, to older adults experiencing a gradual decrease in function. Every patient has different symptoms and unique goals, and we’ll work together to make a plan that’s right for you,” he says.

Your treatment plan depends on many factors including your goals, your injury and other aspects of your health, and the answer isn’t always surgery.

“I strive to solve my patient’s problems using the least invasive means possible. That may mean physical therapy or an injection, or sometimes surgery,” Dr. Neral says. “Even in the case of surgery, recent advances allow us to be less invasive. I’m able to take care of a lot of injuries with arthroscopic surgery using minimal incisions.”

Shoulder specialist, part of a team

Dr. Neral treats hip and knee conditions, and specializes in shoulder injuries. After medical school he pursued a prestigious fellowship in shoulder surgery and sports medicine at the University of Michigan, where he cared for professional athletes at the top of their game.

“It was thrilling to spend time on the sidelines, but what was more memorable was the multi-disciplinary team of orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, athletic trainers and patients all working together to get athletes back on the field,” he says.

That teamwork is what attracted him to Western Washington Medical Group, where a comprehensive group of physicians work together to give patients the full spectrum of care.

Dr. Neral keeps up to date on the latest advances in sports medicine, and has a comprehensive understanding of shoulder conditions. If you have a lingering injury that wasn’t treatable a decade ago, he says your prospects might be better now.

“For example the treatment of rotator cuff tears has really advanced in the last decade or so — it’s encouraging to see advances in technology that give patients better treatment options,” he says. “Shoulder arthritis treatment has advanced as well. We can now treat both arthritis and a rotator cuff tear at the same time.”

If you’re facing a new injury or want a fresh set of eyes on a lingering condition, reach out to Dr. Neral at Western Washington Medical Group by calling 425-317-9119 or online at

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