A meniscal root tear is a tear of the knee meniscus close to the root region where the meniscus is anchored to the underlying bone.

probing the meniscal root

A probe being used to examine the integrity of the root area.

meniscal root tear

A radial tear through the body of the posterior horn at the root.


Meniscal root tears and arthritis

Meniscus root tears may be acute, where the tear occurs suddenly and is immediately associated with incompetence of the meniscus as a shock absorber. In older people it may only be recognised when investigation of arthritis symptoms reveal a meniscal extrusion, with the meniscus slipping out over the edge of the tibia bone. Either situation may end up with the patient developing arthritis, but early recognition of an acute tear may result in referral to a specialist meniscus surgeon, and repair of the tear before arthritis is established.

Meniscal root tears are classified as Types 1-5 depending on the situation and extent of the tear.

meniscal root lesion

Meniscus tears

Discusses how a meniscus can become injured, and the types of meniscus tear and their consequences

Meniscus Library

Library of excerpts from the medical literature about the Meniscus, with links to PubMed

Review article of literature relating to meniscal root tears

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



Meniscal Root Tears: Current Concepts Review. Pache S, Aman ZS, Kennedy M, Nakama GY, Moatshe G, Ziegler C, and LaPrade RF. Arch Bone Jt Surg. 2018 Jul; 6(4): 250–259.

Posterior meniscal root injuries A comprehensive review from anatomy to surgical treatment. Moatshe G, Chahla J, Slette E, Engebretsen and Laprade RF. Acta Orthop. 2016 Oct; 87(5): 452–458.

Meniscal Extrusion Progresses Shortly after the Medial Meniscus Posterior Root Tear. Furumatsu T, Kodama Y, Kamatsuki Y, Hino T, Okazaki Y and Ozaki T. Knee Surg Relat Res. 2017 Dec; 29(4): 295–301.

Meniscal Root Tear Repair: Why, When and How?. Bonasia DE, Pellegrino P, D’Amelio A, Cottino U and Rossi R. Orthop Rev (Pavia). 2015 Jun 3; 7(2): 5792.

See also -


Dr Robert LaPrade of the Steadman-Philippon Institute discusses the importance of the early recognition and repair of meniscal root tears. (Start video, then click box on right of video to jump to YouTube)
eBook discussing meniscus injuries.

eBook - Knee Meniscus Injury

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