The meniscus is the cartilage in the knee that serves as a shock absorber and stabilizer. A wedge-shaped, rubbery cushion in the form of the letter “C”, the menisci help distribute the weight of the body evenly across the knee joint. Further, damage to the meniscus often happens during a ligament tear.
Knee pain, stiffness or swelling
Tenderness in the joint line
Popping or clicking in the knee
Reduced mobility in the joint
A sense the knee may “give out”
Moreover, when a meniscus tear becomes symptomatic and interferes with daily activities, surgery may be considered. The surgeon can trim or remove the damaged pieces of the cartilage or sew the damaged pieces together.
A cartilage transplant to repair a damaged meniscus may be an option. This usually depends on the age and condition of the patient and the severity of the injury.
Illustrations are reproduced with permission from Fischer S, (interim ed): Your Orthopaedic Connection. Rosemont, IL, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Available at http://orthoinfo.aaos.org.org/.