By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Doctors are finding new ways to treat young athletes who end up with serious joint issues because they never take a season to rest.

Playing the same sport all year, puts a lot of stress on growing bodies according to Dr. Shannon Safier, an orthopedic surgeon at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.

He’s seeing many more young athletes with serious joint issues, where the cartilage has died because of a bone bruise that cut off the blood supply.

He uses a crushed, donated material to fill in the gap.

“You mix this cartilage with their own blood cells, this cartilage serves as a scaffold for new cartilage to grow.” said Safier. “It almost provides a blue print for the body to respond to, so it knows where to grow cartilage and fill in the lesion.”
He says if the cartilage isn’t repaired, scar tissue forms affecting the joint movement.