Alan M. Hirahara, MD, FRCSC
Orthopaedic SurgeonSpecialist in Sports Medicine


The two menisci (medial & lateral) of each knee are shock absorbers.  The meniscus is made up of fibrocartilage, which is a different type of cartilage from the articular cartilage that lines the bones.  With a torn or absent meniscus, the knee has a greater risk for progressive damage due to wear and tear, like a car driving with one or more of its shocks.  A torn meniscus can result in locking or catching in the knee, which can cause progressive damage to the articular cartilage overlying the bones in the knee.  When the articular cartilage is worn away, this is called arthritis.

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