The Function of the Meniscus
The menisci also assist with the proper movement (arthrokinematic) of the femur and tibia during flexion and extension. Flexion and extension images here They help stabilize the knees when in motion, reduce friction within the joint, and lubricate and protect the articular cartilage surrounding the tips of the bones from damage due to wear and tear.
What is Fibrocartilage?
What Happens When the Meniscus is Injured?
While some meniscus tears can be repaired, most cannot be fixed. The torn piece is removed through the arthroscope in the operating room. The tear itself and the removal of the loose piece result in increased forces on the surfaces of the joint which then can lead to a progression of arthritis. In a small number of cases, pain from the arthritis can progress after surgery to remove the torn meniscus. It is the tear, not the surgery, that leads to the continued pain and progression of arthritis.
Patients must understand that, if they have a torn meniscus in the face of arthritis, their pain may not be completely resolved by an arthroscopic surgery. In a small number of cases, the pain from the arthritis may even increase.