The meniscus is a C-shaped pad of specialized cartilage that functions as a shock-absorber within the knee. There are 2 menisci in the knee joint - one on the inside of the knee (medial meniscus) and one on the outside of the knee (lateral meniscus). The menisci are located between the femur and tibia bones in the knee and distribute weight and reduce friction during movement.
Treatment of meniscal tears depends on several factors including the type of tear, the location of the tear, and the activity level of the patient. If surgery is necessary, minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques are used to either trim out the torn portion of the meniscus (partial menisectomy) or repair the meniscus (meniscal repair).
Meniscal tears occur with twisting injuries to the knee and are commonly associated with ACL tears. They can be due to a traumatic injury, often seen in athletes, or due to a degenerative process in which the meniscus becomes more brittle. The symptoms of a meniscus tear include pain, swelling, locking, and the inability to completely straighten the knee joint.