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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How the surgeon decides on management.

How the meniscus is injured

Understanding the mechanism of injury of the knee-cartilage.

Meniscus from top

Another view of the 'knee cartilages'.

Meniscus from side

Overview of the anatomy of the 'knee cartilages'.

Short overview of how this surgeon decides which meniscal tear to repair

An 'interpretation' of a paper from 2007, which is a literature review trying to determine whether cruciate ligament injury predisposes one to osteoarthritis of the knee.

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