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.

knee joint showing the meniscus fingers explaining shape of lateral meniscus knee meniscus showing the menisco-capsular junction
The outer rim is wider and better supplied with fibres and blood vessels. The lateral (outer) meniscus is more 'O-shaped' than the medial meniscus, which is more 'C-shaped'. At the far ends are the two 'horns'. Areas of the outer rim, especially on the medial meniscus, are intimately related to the capsule.

 

What does the knee meniscus do?

The menisci are the shock absorbers of the knee. Their crescentic shape, with a wider outer rim and a flattened inner rim, allow them to absorb the vertical forces going through the joint channelling the forces towards the outer edge where the fibre bundles are more tightly packed and which thus takes most of the stress.

Synonyms: 
Knee cartilage
Knee cartilages
Semi-lunar cartilage
Semi-lunar cartilages
Meniscal cartilage
Meniscal cartilages
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Meniscus tears

Page discussing how the meniscus is 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

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

Meniscus Avulsion

This eBook discusses the consequences of part of the knee meniscus or shock absorber tearing away from its moorings on the tibia bone.

The reasons why doctors nowadays try to preserve the meniscus.

Pages

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CLINICAL PUBLICATIONS

The knee meniscus: structure-function, pathophysiology, current repair techniques, and prospects for regeneration. Makris EA, Hadidi P and Athanasiou KA. Biomaterials. 2011 Oct; 32(30): 7411–7431.

The Basic Science of Human Knee Menisci - Structure, Composition, and Function. Fox AJS, Bedi A and Rodeo SA. Sports Health. 2012 Jul; 4(4): 340–351.

A Current Review of the Meniscus Imaging: Proposition of a Useful Tool for Its Radiologic Analysis. Lefevre N, Naouri JF, Herman S, Gerometta A, Klouche S and Bohu. Radiol Res Pract. 2016; 2016: 8329296..


See also:

and:



eBook about cartilage terminology

Clearing up confusion about knee cartilage - ebook



eBook about the torn meniscus

eBook - Seven Symptoms of a Torn Knee Meniscus