Medical Minute 02-20

By: Eyewitness News Email
By: Eyewitness News Email

He's overcome a developmental disorder to compete on the ice. But a physical abnormality almost forced him to give up his passion. Andrew McIntosh tells us what fixed a young boy's feet and saved his figure skating career.

For 11 year old Harrison Sokol, skating is everything.

"I've been skating since i was four, and i pretty much like everything about it."

Harrison has an autism spectrum disorder. But when he puts on a pair of skates, there's no stopping him. "There's no telling him what he can or can't do." Said his mom.

Autism isn't Harrison's only challenge. He was born with a painful abnormality of calf muscle and bone that made him more and more unstable.

"His feet started rolling in and it just got worse and worse."

To get Harrison back on track, Doctor Mark Gorman performed his own spin on a procedure called Gastrocnemius (gastro-nee-mee-us) Recession, to lengthen Harrison's achilles' tendons."We stretch the calf muscle, the gastrocnemius muscle where the tendon and muscle come together right at that area without damaging the tendon."

Then a custom-fit conical titanium implant was placed between the heel bone and ankle bone in each foot, to restore normal stability and mobility.

A year after surgery, Harrison is back on the ice, solo skating, ice dancing and winning gold. A tough competitor heading toward his biggest challenge yet-the 2013 International Special Olympics.

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