The meniscus is a crescentic wedge of fibre-filled cartilage lying on the top of the tibia, between tibia and femur. Each knee has two menisci.

 

What does the knee meniscus do?

The meniscus is the shock absorber of the knee. Its crescentic shape, with a wider outer rim and a flattened inner rim, allows it to absorb the vertical forces going through the joint and channel them towards the outer rim, which thus takes most of the stress. At the far ends of each crescent are the two 'horns'.

fingers explaining shape of lateral meniscus knee joint showing the meniscus knee meniscus showing the menisco-capsular junction
The lateral (outer) meniscus is more 'O-shaped' than the medial meniscus, which is more 'C-shaped'. The two menisci (plural) act as shock absorbers between the two long bones of femur and tibia. Detail to show the intimate relationship of the meniscus to the capsule.
Synonyms: 
Knee cartilage
Knee cartilages
Semi-lunar cartilage
Semi-lunar cartilages
Meniscal cartilage
Meniscal cartilages
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Meniscus Library

Library of excerpts from the medical literature about the Meniscus, with links to PubMed

A discussion of the differences between the two menisci in terms of their mobility, and what this means in terms of meniscus injury patterns.

Meniscus Avulsion

This eBook discusses the consequences of part of the knee meniscus or shock absorber tearing away from its moorings on the tibia bone.

The reasons why doctors nowadays try to preserve the meniscus.

What is a knee meniscus?

A short animation about the knee meniscus

Clearing up confusion about knee cartilage

Video discussing why people mix up the two kinds of tissue referred to as 'cartilage'.

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