Orthopaedic Surgeon & Medical Innovator
Dr. Thal is an orthopaedic surgeon, sub-specializing in sports medicine & arthroscopic surgery. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) and has earned the distinguished Subspecialty Certification in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine (CAQSM). Through his renowned career, Dr. Thal has been recognized as a leader in orthopaedic sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery, specializing in shoulder, knee & elbow injuries and disorders. He has been an orthopaedic consultant for numerous professional, collegiate, and scholastic teams, including serving as the Head Team physician for the Washington Football Team (formerly Washington Redskins) from 2000-2008. In an April 2005 press conference, Hall of Fame NFL Coach Joe Gibbs said, "I can honestly say there isn’t a medical team out there that’s as capable as we have in talking about Ray Thal, Tony Casolaro and Jim Andrews. Those are some of the top people in sports medicine." In 2021, Dr. Thal joined OrthoBethesda in establishing the Washington Sports Medicine Institute. He is excited to collaborate with the world-class sports medicine specialists at OrthoBethesda, with plans to build a state-of-the-art, Sports Medicine Center of Excellence in Tysons, Virginia.
Dr. Thal has been extremely active in orthopaedic innovation and has become internationally recognized for his significant technological developments. He holds 18 United States patents and 26 international patents for medical devices and instruments he has invented, including the world's first Knotless Suture Anchor. Because of these unique orthopaedic advances, Dr. Thal has served as a renowned guest speaker and visiting surgeon throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. Dr. Thal expanded his involvement in medical innovation with the 2020 establishment of Thal Innovations, LLC. He is passionate in his belief that medical breakthroughs can have a significant impact on patients' quality of life. Dr. Thal is actively developing new medical technology, consulting for established orthopaedic companies & advising medical start-ups in various stages of development.
Dr. Thal has authored numerous scientific articles and chapters and has conducted research on various sports medicine topics. Dr. Thal remains active in several national orthopaedic sports medicine and arthroscopy organizations and is currently a member of the Communications and Technology Committee for the Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA). He has previously served on the Health Policy Committee, Communications Committee, and Learning Center Committee for this organization. From 2010 to 2012, Dr. Thal served as one of only two Virginia representatives to the Council of Delegates to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM). He has served on the Clinical Committee on Sports Medicine for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). He has been voted a "Top Doctor" by Washingtonian Magazine.
Originally from Commack, New York, Dr. Thal earned his medical degree from Loyola University of Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in 1984 followed by an internship and residency in orthopaedic surgery. His lifelong athletic involvement, including playing collegiate baseball, led him to pursue a career in orthopaedic sports medicine. Following his orthopaedic training, he completed a 1-year subspecialty fellowship program in sports medicine and arthroscopy at the Orthopaedic Research of Virginia in Richmond.
In addition to his extensive medical commitments, Dr. Thal participates in numerous sports, including tennis, skiing, cycling, and golf. He enjoys family activities, particularly with his wife, adult children & grandchild.
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