The meniscal root serves as the anchor point for the menisci area at each end of the meniscus where it is tethered to the underlying tibia bone via a fibrous extension which looks like a root.

meniscal root

The roots extend into the bone of the tibia and anchor the horns of the meniscus.

root tear of the meniscus


A root tear separates the root from the rest of the meniscus, and makes the meniscus incompetent.


Function of the meniscal root

A key function of the meniscus is the conversion of vertical load into circumferential load, so that forces are displaced to the outer edges of the meniscus rather than right through the cartilage of the two bones where they make contact. The integrity of the root is essential and a tear here is a potential disaster because if left unrepaired the situation is equivalent to a meniscectomy. However, surgeons have only understood this fairly recently and repair of a meniscus root tear is not a skill yet acquired by most knee surgeons.

meniscus root

Managing Meniscal Injuries

Downloadable eBook about how meniscus injuries are managed.

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

Review article of literature relating to meniscal root tears

An interpretation of a 2015 published medical article on meniscal root tears.

Meniscus from top

Another view of the 'knee cartilages'.



Anatomy of the anterior root attachments of the medial and lateral menisci: a quantitative analysis. LaPrade CM, Ellman MB, Rasmussen MT, James EW, Wijdicks CA, Engebretsen L, LaPrade RF. Am J Sports Med. 2014 Oct;42(10):2386-92. doi: 10.1177/0363546514544678. Epub 2014 Aug 8.

Consequences of tibial tunnel reaming on the meniscal roots during cruciate ligament reconstruction in a cadaveric model, Part 1: The anterior cruciate ligament. LaPrade CM, Smith SD, Rasmussen MT, Hamming MG, Wijdicks CA, Engebretsen L, Feagin JA, LaPrade RF. Am J Sports Med. 2015 Jan;43(1):200-6. doi: 10.1177/0363546514554769. Epub 2014 Oct 31.

Understanding posterior meniscal roots lesions: from basic science to treatment. Cruz RS, Ferrari MB, Metsavaht L and LaPrade RF. Revista Brasileira de Ortopedia (English Edition), Volume 52, Issue 4, June–July 2017, 463-472.

See also -


eBook about knee meniscus injury

eBook - Knee Meniscus Injury

This ebook discusses the various types of meniscus injuries and their consequences.