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HEALTH: Knee injuries on the rise especially ACL injuries

More kids are tearing up their knees playing sports.    
The American Academy of Pediatrics says there has been a rise in diagnoses of a specific injury to the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL.
The increase is particularly dramatic in girls
Who play high school soccer, basketball, volleyball and in gymnasts,    

Girls suffer two to six times more ACL injuries than boys in similar sports, and are more likely to have surgery than boys.
ABC's Jen Ashton show us what young female athletes can do, to try and avoid injury.

It made Lindsey Vonn drop out of the olympics
Sidelined volleyball gold medalist Misty May-Treanor

And forced WNBA Center Rebecca Lobo into early retirement all with torn ACLS blown-out knees

It's something that Angela Owens knows all too well.  Her 9-yr-old daughter Isabella tore her ACL during a gymnastics routine

Isabella, ACL patient
I was jumping form the low bar to the high bar and when I got to the high bar the spotter missed me and I fell

Knee surgery and one year of physical therapy
Angela Owens, mother of ACL patient
Professional athletes football players adults-- not 9-yr-old girls For Isabella and all athletes GFX -a torn ACL, which is a ligament in the knee that provides stability is devastating

Dr Daniel Green / Associate Professor Orthopedic Surgery - Hospital of Special Surgeries Pediatric Orthopedic

It seems like it's an epidemic we're seeing it almost weekly of a really young child coming in. The kids are getting so many opportunities to play high level sports at an early age

A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows ACL injuries are on rise in young girls partly because as they hit puberty, their body
size increases but their muscles don't keep pace.

Dr. Ashton-  How worried are you about having a knee injury
Chloe Ashton - I'm pretty worried especially because I play a lot of different sports so a knee injury would definitely make a big impact.

Now the good news -- the study says girls can cut the risk of injury in half. so I hit the field with my daughter Chloe and a friend to show them some
ways to stay in the game.

With one leg bent, you're gonna straighten your leg and you're gonna lift your hips straight up, and make sure that your shoulder to your hip to your leg is all in a straight line

You're gonna put a soft bend in your standing leg. Keep both your knees right below your hips, and you're just going to balance for 30 seconds.