|Head of right tibia seen from above, showing menisci and attachments of ligaments. (Medial meniscus visible at left.)|
|Left knee joint from behind, showing interior ligaments.|
|Gray's||subject #93 343|
The medial meniscus is a fibrocartilage semicircular band that spans the knee joint medially, located between the medial condyle of the femur and the medial condyle of the tibia. It is also referred to as the internal semilunar fibrocartilage. It is a common site of injury, especially if the knee is twisted.
The meniscus attaches to the tibia via meniscotibial (coronary ligaments).
It is fused with the tibial collateral ligament which makes it far less mobile than the lateral meniscus. The points of attachment are relatively widely separated and, because the meniscus is wider posteriorly than anteriorly, the anterior crus is considerably thinner than the posterior crus. The greatest displacement of the meniscus is caused by external rotation, while internal rotation relaxes it.
During rotational movements of the tibia (with the knee flexed 90 degrees), the medial meniscus remains relatively fixed while the lateral part of the lateral meniscus is displaced across the tibial condyle below.
The medial meniscus separates the tibia and femur to decrease the contact area between the bones, and serves as a shock absorber reducing the peak contact force experienced. It also reduces friction between the two bones to allow smooth movement in the knee and distribute load during movement.
Acute injury to the medial meniscus fairly often accompanies an injury to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) or MCL (medial collateral ligament). A person occasionally injures the medial meniscus without harming the ligaments. Healing of the medial meniscus is generally not possible unless the patient is very young, usually <15 years old. Damage to the outer third of the meniscus has the best healing potential because of the blood supply, but the inner two thirds of the medial meniscus has a limited blood supply and thus limited healing ability. Large tears to the meniscus may require surgical repair or removal. If the meniscus has to be removed (menisectomy) because of injury (either because it cannot heal or because the damage is too severe), the patient has an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis in the knee later in life. If the meniscus is removed and there is no arthritis, there are now meniscus transplant options if the patient is young and has normal alignment.
- Platzer, Werner (2004). Color Atlas of Human Anatomy, Vol. 1: Locomotor System (5th ed.). Thieme. ISBN 3-13-533305-1.
- Thieme Atlas of Anatomy: General Anatomy and Musculoskeletal System. Thieme. 2006. ISBN 1-58890-419-9.
- SUNY Figs 17:07-06
- Medial+meniscus at eMedicine Dictionary
- lljoints at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman (Georgetown University) (antkneejointopenflexed)
- The KNEEguru
- Medial Meniscus Tear Knee MR