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Understanding the Meniscus in the Knee: What Is It and How It Functions

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

A meniscus is a crescent-shaped piece of cartilage found in the knee joint. It serves as a cushion and shock absorber between the bones, helping to distribute weight and load across the joint. Menisci are made of tough, rubbery tissue (cartilage) and are located on both the inner (medial) and outer (lateral) aspects of the knee joint.

What is The Meniscus in The Knee?

In the knee, the menisci are positioned between the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone). They provide stability to the joint, aid in lubrication, and contribute to the joint's overall function. The menisci also help improve the congruence between the rounded end of the femur and the flat top of the tibia, which contributes to the smooth movement of the knee.

Meniscus injuries are relatively common, often resulting from activities that involve twisting or sudden, forceful movements of the knee joint. Tears or damage to the meniscus can lead to pain, swelling, limited range of motion, and a feeling of instability in the knee. Depending on the severity of the tear, the location of the tear and the individual's activity level, treatment options can range from conservative approaches like rest, ice, and physiotherapy to more invasive interventions such as arthroscopic surgery to repair or remove the damaged portion of the meniscus.

If you are concerned that you have damaged your meniscus we recommend seeing your local physiotherapist as they will be able to assess your knee and provide a clearer picture. In some cases it may be necessary to undergo a MRI to get further clarification of the damage sustained to your knee.

Body Fit Physiotherapy

Physiotherapist North Adelaide

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