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.
Knee cartilage
Knee cartilages
Semi-lunar cartilage
Semi-lunar cartilages
Meniscal cartilage
Meniscal cartilages

Young people have special issues when it comes to knee injury, because their bones are still growing.