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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A short animation about the knee meniscus

Clearing up confusion about knee cartilage

Video discussing why people mix up the two kinds of tissue referred to as 'cartilage'.

How the surgeon decides on management.

Meniscus

Basic information about meniscus problems and how they are managed.

Meniscus from top

Another view of the 'knee cartilages'.

Knee meniscus

Overview of the anatomy of the 'knee cartilages'.

Short overview of how this surgeon decides which meniscal tear to repair

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:

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eBook about cartilage terminology

Clearing up confusion about knee cartilage - ebook



eBook about the torn meniscus

eBook - Seven Symptoms of a Torn Knee Meniscus