The meniscus of the knee is vitally important for the overall performance of the knee. One of the joints that are always subject to stress and pressure is the knee and it is only necessary that there should be a structure to lessen the trauma, friction, and shock between the two bones meeting at the knee joint. The meniscus is not limited to the knee only. It is also located at other structures such as the temporomandibular joint, sternoclavicular joint, and the acromioclavicular joint. The knee meniscus, just like the others, is a crescent-shaped structure. Let us take a deeper look into this amazing structure of the human body.
Overview of Meniscus of the Knee
The most popular meniscus is that of the knee. The knee is a joint where the distal end of femur and the proximal end of the tibia meet. Between these bones are soft pads called the meniscus which is fibrocartilaginous structure located at the lateral and medial aspects of the knee. Its main function is to reduce tension in the knee since it is always exposed to great weight and pressure. The load exerted to the knee is being dispersed and spread out by the meniscus. The knee is basically made up of the following bones.
- Fibula – also known as the calf bone; located at the lateral side of the tibia
- Patella – also known as the knee cap; articulate with the femur; covers and protect the anterior aspect of the knee
- Tibia – also known as the shinbone; larger and stronger bone compared to the fibula
- Femur – also known as the thigh bone; the largest and strongest bone of the body
Structure of the Fibrocartilage
The meniscus of the knee is made up of strong and dense fibrocartilage. There are other two types of cartilage but the fibrocartilage is the strongest among the rest. It has the highest ratio of collagen. The fibrocartilage is found in different parts of the body that is always exposed to high stress. Other than the knee meniscus, fibrocartilage is seen in the intervertebral discs of the spinal column and other weight-bearing structures.
Injuries Pertaining With the Meniscus of the Knee
Like any other type of joints, the meniscus of the knee is also at risk of injuries. But the knee is the most vulnerable joint to sustain trauma because of its function and location. With only a little higher than 20 pounds of force, the knee could be displaced from its normal position. The bones may be broken and the meniscus could be torn. Athletes are the most vulnerable people to develop torn cartilage. The remedy could either be to repair or remove a part of the meniscus.
Summary of the Knee Meniscus
The meniscus of the knee enables many people to perform activities of daily living. Because of the knee meniscus, the knee joint is able to articulate and move smoothly and painlessly. The knee meniscus is made-up of fibrocartilage that gives the knee joint its strength and flexibility.
If you want to learn more about the knee meniscus, this article could be a good start. You just have to research more about the meniscus of the knee to increase your understanding about this subject.