The Modified Hedgehog Technique to Repair Pure Chondral Shear-off Lesions in the Pediatric Knee

R.M. Jeuken*, G.F. Vles, E.J.P. Jansen, D. Loeffen, P.J. Emans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective The paediatric knee is prone to pure chondral shear-off lesions due to the developing osteochondral unit. Refixation of the chondral fragment is commonly done using metalwork or absorbable biomaterials. Both fixation methods come with biomaterial-related drawbacks. Earlier work on chondral allografts for cartilage repair in adults has shown successful osteochondral integration when the chondral allograft is treated with multiple incisions and then glued to the subchondral bone using fibrin glue. This is commonly referred to as the "hedgehog technique." This study investigates the feasibility of a modification of the hedgehog technique in autologous cartilage to repair shear-off lesions in children. Design Three consecutive patients (aged 11, 12, and 14 years) with shear-off chondral fragments of 2, 5, and 8 cm(2) were treated using this modified hedgehog technique. The calcified side of the chondral fragments were multiply incised and trimmed obliquely for an interlocking fit in the defect site. Fibrin glue and, if indicated sutures, were applied to fix the fragment to the defect. In 1 patient, an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair was also performed. Patients were evaluated clinically and by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) up to 12 months postoperatively. Results Twelve months after surgery, all patients reported no pain and showed complete return to sport and full range of motion. MRI showed no signs of fragment loosening. Conclusions The modified hedgehog technique is a feasible treatment option to repair pure chondral shear-off lesions in the paediatric knee. This was the first time this technique was used in autografting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271S-279S
Number of pages9
Issue number1_SUPPL
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • trauma
  • cartilage defect
  • paediatric
  • knee
  • hedgehog


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