Meniscus Tears

The meniscus is a pad-like piece of cartilage which sits between the thigh and shin bone (also known as the femur and tibia) and acts as a cushion and shock absorber to protect bones during movement.  The knee joint has two menisci – the medial meniscus on the inside of the knee and the lateral meniscus on the outside of the knee.


In a healthy knee the menisci are crescent-shaped.  However, a variant discoid meniscus is usually oval or disc-shaped and thicker than normal and, due to its shape and increased likelihood of being bumped or struck, making it more prone to injury than a normally shaped meniscus.   In general, meniscus tears do not heal on their own due to the lack of a strong blood supply to the area, which causes an absence of nutrients that are needed for healing.   Symptoms of discoid meniscus can include, pain, stiffness, swelling, a popping or locking of the knee, and the inability to fully extend the knee.

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