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Meniscal Injuries


  • elasofibrocartilagenous

  • crescent shaped; triangular in cross-section

  • anterior horns attached to each other by the small transverse anterior intermeniscal ligament

  • lateral meniscus is more circular; medial meniscus more C-shaped

  • lateral meniscus has twice the excursion of the medial meniscus during knee motion.

  • anterior horn of lateral meniscus & post horns of both meniscii attach to the intercondylar eminence

  • popliteus muscle (not tendon) is attached to lateral meniscus

  • semimembranosis is attached to medial meniscus

  • Blood supply: 

    • from branches of the lateral, middle & medial genicular arteries

    • vascular synovial tissue from the capsule supplies the peripheral third of meniscus

perimeniscal capillary plexus (PCP) permeates through the peripheral border of the meniscus. F: Femur; T: Tibia.  

Frontal section of the medial compartment demonstrates the microvasculature of the medial meniscus. The perimeniscal capillary plexus (PCP) permeates through the peripheral border of the meniscus. F: Femur; T: Tibia. [Arnoczky SP, Warren RF. Microvasculature of the human meniscus. Am J Sports Med. 1982;10:90-95.]

  •  Constituents:
  1. Type 1 collagen fibres arranged radially & longitudinally (circumferential)

    • longitudinal fibres - dissipate hoop stresses in the meniscus

    • radial fibres & longit fibres - allows meniscii to expand under compressive force

  2. Proteoglycans

    • trapped within collagen fibres to absorb energy



  1. Load bearing: 
    • at least 50% of the compressive load of the knee joint is transmitted through the meniscus in extension , and approx 85% of the load is transmitted in 90° flexion.
      In the meniscectomised knee the contact area is reduced approx 50%
    • Partial meniscectomy also increases the contact pressures
  2. Shock absorption: 
    • menisci may attenuate the intermittent shock waves generated by impulse loading during gait- the shock absorbing capacity of normal knees is ~ 20% higher than in meniscectomised knees.
    • The ability of a system to absorb shock has been implicated in development of OA ( Radin and Rose " The role of subchondral bone in the initiation and progression of Osteoarthritis" CORR 213:34-40, 1986)
  3. Knee joint stability: 
    • meniscectomy alone may not seriously affect stability. However, in assoc with ACL tears, meniscectomy increases ant laxity of the knee
  4. Lubrication
  5. Proprioception: 
    • this has been inferred from the finding of type 1 and type 2 nerve endings in the ant and post horns of the menisci


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Lateral Meniscus Syndrome:
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Meniscal Injuries
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