Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 468, Issue 4, pp 1190–1192 | Cite as

In Brief: Meniscal Tears

  • Joseph BernsteinEmail author
In Brief Knee


Meniscal tears can cause considerable symptoms (pain, catching or locking, and effusions) and may subject the knee to premature degeneration of the joint. They also are one of the most common indications for an orthopaedic surgical procedure [3]. As such, although a tear of the meniscus is never life- or limb-threatening, its importance in orthopaedic surgery is undoubted.

Structure and Function

The word meniscus means “little moon” in Greek, a name evoked by its crescent shape (as seen from above). The menisci sit atop the medial and lateral plateaus of the tibia, contacting the rounded femoral condyles and distributing their weight across a broad surface area (Fig.  1A). The increased contact area accordingly decreases pressure and focal stress. The menisci also absorb shock; and by acting as a doorjamb, stabilize the joint (Fig.  1B).


Anterior Cruciate Ligament Meniscal Tear Young Athlete Meniscal Repair Tibial Plateau Fracture 
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Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryPhiladelphia Veterans Hospital, University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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