Doctors did not always recognize the importance of the menisci. Today, they are understood to be vital for knee health and function, but they were once thought to be nothing more than a vestigial body part. The menisci are complex and unique tissues, which is why meniscal injuries are challenging for the patient and the medical team working to repair them.

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1. Gross Anatomy

The menisci are made of smooth tissue that is tough and lubricated, commonly called the cartilage of the knee. The medial and lateral menisci are both crescent-shaped and attached to the capsule of the joint. They are thick around the periphery and thin at the inside border. The top of each meniscus is concave; the bottom is flat.

knee joint anatomy Jan-Otto / Getty Images
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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.