The meniscus is a half-moon shaped piece of cartilage that lies between the weight-bearing joint surfaces of the thigh and the shin and is attached to the lining of the knee joint.
There are two menisci in a normal knee; the outside – the lateral meniscus and the inner side – the medial meniscus.
The meniscus plays a role in joint stability, as well as load distribution. Tears in the meniscus are common and often happen because of an acute injury.
Meniscal tears are often treated by removing a piece of the torn meniscus, which is called a partial meniscectomy, which may make the joint more vulnerable to degeneration of the articular cartilage.
Some meniscal injuries can be repaired via key-hole surgery (arthroscopically), where the torn piece(s) of the meniscus are sutured/stitched back together.
This depends on the type of tear, as well as the overall status of the damaged meniscus and age of the patient.
Unfortunately due to the relatively poor blood supply of the menisci, many tears are not suitable for repair.
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