Mr Michael Moss

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

01243 753032

The menisci (popularly known as cartilages) are the structures on which most of the work is carried out upon in arthroscopy. The menisci are crucial to knee function both in bending and flexing and in twisting or pivoting, acting as a washer or shock absorber within the joint to allow smooth movement of the femur upon the tibia.

The menisci can be injured by sudden trauma such as a sporting accident or a twisting injury or alternatively the menisci may tear as a result of minor repetitive injury especially in an older patient. Once a meniscus is torn, the damaged edge causes pain, particularly when you try to carry out a deep knee bend or twisting movement. As well as pain, some long term damage can occur as a result of the torn cartilage damaging the bearing surface of the joint.

Meniscal surgery to a damaged articular cartilage is carried out by removing the area which is torn, whilst leaving the vast majority of undamaged meniscus intact. This lessens the chance of developing premature osteoarthritic degeneration of the knee. Meniscal damage that involves a large surface area of the structure can easily be repaired.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is a degenerative joint disease that causes deterioration of cartilage between bones. It can be caused by aging, genetics, obesity, and joint injuries from sports, work, or accidents.

In 2012, 92% of hip joints replaced in the UK were needed because of osteoarthritis.

In the same year, 98% of the knee joints replaced in the UK were because the patient was diagnosed with osteoarthritis.