, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 13-14
Date: 28 Dec 2011

Degeneration of the Meniscus and Progression of Osteoarthritis

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Introduction

A major function of the meniscus involves load bearing and shock absorption [4]. This function is provided in part through the microstructure of the menisci which contain circumferentially oriented collagen fibers woven together with radial fibers. These structures appear to act like tension rods to maintain shape and structure when axially loaded [3]. The menisci transmit anywhere from 45% to 60% of the compressive load across the knee [15]. If the meniscus does not cover the articular surface that it is designed to protect due to change in position or a tear, it will be unable to resist axial loading and will not perform this role. The absence of a functioning meniscus increases peak and average contact stresses in the medial compartment from 40% to 700% [1, 8, 11].

Meniscal Degeneration

MRI is highly accurate with high sensitivity and specificity in detecting meniscal tears, which appear as increased signal intensity extending to the meniscal articular surface. Meniscal le