More and more kids are pushing their bodies to the limit - and the cost is often injuries like ACL tears and broken bones. One doctor is pioneering surgeries that get kids back on the field in months.
Melissa Madeline: Nathan Green knows it takes a lot of foot work and hard work to become a top player. Nathan Green: I'm just kind of good at, so I'm just kind of stuck. Melissa Madeline: But his dreams of college soccer were almost wiped out. Nathan Green: When I kind of heard a pop and I just want down. Melissa Madeline: Nathan tore his ACL. Traditional surgeries would damage the growth plates. Pediatric orthopedic surgeon Eric Wall developed a tendon reconstruction at Cincinnati Children's hospital to keep Nathan in the game. Doctor Wall used Nathan's hamstring tendon to cerate a new ACL. The new procedure avoids any contact with this growth plate. Dr. Eric Wall: In an adult the tunnel goes up this way and crosses through the growth plate, this way the tunnel goes horizontally across, I will show you in another view and the tunnels drilled beneath the growth plates so it doesn't touch the growth plate or doesn't cross the growth plate. Melissa Madeline: On the left is Nathans knee before surgery, the ACL is gone on the right a new ACL is in place. Jacob Sorger suffers from a less common but just is painful problem Juvenile Osteochondritis Dissecans or JOCD which is caused by pressure on immature bones. Jacob Sorger: Like I couldn't walk up the steps when I go to home, I think it was hurting that bad. Melissa Madeline: Doctor Wall took a bone graft from Jacob's hip and transferred it into his knees with this small tube. Dr. Eric Wall: And that bone graft supplies stem cells to grow new bone so this is one chance we have to actually cure a problem and get the knee back to normal. Melissa Madeline: Now both boys are back out and running. I'm Melissa Madeline reporting.