Athletic girls are increasingly getting a debilitating knee injury that pulls many from sports, but specialized exercises can help prevent it.

The knee-ligament tear, known as an ACL injury, is up to six times more likely to happen to girls than boys. It could be because girls’ strength doesn’t develop as quickly.

"Girls have an explosion of height that happens a whole lot earlier than the guys do, so you can imagine it almost like a Bambi effect if you will," said Dr. Thomas Lam, a sports medicine physician at FITS Sports Medicine in Toronto.

"They get a whole lot taller than their ability to control."

Watch Lam and Katerina Georgiadis give CBC’s Kim Brunhuber a demonstration of the prevention exercises.