Meniscus Injury Video

Meniscus is a crescent-shaped fibrocartilaginous structure present in the knee, acromioclavicular, sternoclavicular, and temporomandibular joints that, in contrast to articular disks, only partly divides a joint cavity. A small meniscus also occurs in the radio-carpal joint.

It usually refers to either of two specific parts of cartilage of the knee: The lateral and medial menisci. Both are cartilaginous tissues that provide structural integrity to the knee when it undergoes tension and torsion. The menisci are also known as 'semi-lunar' cartilages - referring to their half-moon "C" shape - a term which has been largely dropped by the medical profession, but which led to the menisci being called knee 'cartilages' by the lay public.

Menisci can be torn during innocuous activities such as walking or squatting. They can also be torn due to traumatic forces encountered in sports. The trauma mechanism is most often a twisting movement while the knee is bent. In older adults, the meniscus can be damaged following prolonged 'wear and tear'; this is called a degenerative tear.

Tears can lead to pain and/or swelling of the knee joint. Especially acute injuries (typically in younger, more active patients) can lead to displaced tears which can cause mechanical symptoms such as clicking, catching, or locking during motion of the knee joint. The joint will be in pain when in use, but when there is no load, the pain goes away.

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