A floating meniscus is a diagnosis based on a scan where the radiologist observes that the knee meniscus has come away from its normal attachment to the tibia and is 'floating' rather than fixed.

menisco-tibial avulsion or floating meniscus
The condition is generally due to a meniscal avulsion, where the menisco-tibial ligament - which usually anchors the meniscus - tears away from the bone on its lower surface.

(IMAGE: left: intact attachment, right: avulsed).

 

Floating meniscus

The MRI scan shows a fluid gap between the bottom of the meniscus and the tibia bone. Generally, the meniscus itself remains intact, but without this anchorage the meniscus becomes incompetent as a shock absorber and arthritis may ensue if the situation is not surgically remedied.

Synonyms: 
meniscal avulsion
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An explanation of what it means to have a 'floating' knee meniscus on MRI imaging.

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CLINICAL PUBLICATIONS

The “Floating” Meniscus: MRI in Knee Trauma and Implications for Surgery Bikkina RS, Tujo CA, Schraner AB and Nancy M. Major NM. American Journal of Roentgenology. 2005;184: 200-204.

Meniscal Avulsion. Case submitted by M Venkatesh. Case Discussion and Images.


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