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Understanding the structure of the meniscus and its process of repair has been critical in advancing surgical techniques and increasing healing rates following meniscal repair. Knowledge of the circumferential orientation of the collagen fibers has lead to the preferred position of sutures—vertical mattress.

Increasing knowledge of normal meniscal healing and meniscal vascularity has lead to […]

Cellular Response to Injury

The ability of fibrochondrocytes within a meniscus to mount a reparative response is dependent in part upon cellular activity. Cytokines and growth factors present during the inflammatory response to injury may promote meniscal healing through enhancement of cell migration, cell division, and the production of extracellular matrix.

While no specific growth factor has been shown […]

Vascular Response to Injury

The vascular supply of the meniscus is the essential element in determining its potential for repair. This blood supply must have the ability to support the inflammatory response characteristic of wound repair. Clinical and experimental observations have demonstrated that the peripheral meniscal blood supply is capable of producing a reparative response similar to that in […]

Vascular Anatomy of the Meniscus

The vascular supply to the medial and lateral menisci originates predominantly from the medial and lateral genicular arteries (inferior and superior branches). Branches from these vessels give rise to a perimeniscal capillary plexus within the synovial and capsular tissues of the knee joint.

The plexus is an arborizing network of vessels that supplies the peripheral […]

Basic Science of Meniscal Repair

Thomas Annandale was credited with the first surgical repair of a torn meniscus in 1883 . It was not until 1936, when King published his classic experiment on meniscus healing in dogs, that the actual biological limitations of meniscus healing were set forth. King demonstrated that for meniscal lesions to heal, they must communicate with […]

Meniscal Motion

As the knee passes through a range of motion, the menisci move with respect to the tibial articular surface. A classic study demonstrated that from 0 degrees to 120 degrees of knee flexion the mean meniscal excursion (defined as the average anteroposterior displacement of the anterior and posterior meniscal horns along the tibial plateau in […]

Meniscal Function

While the term “shock absorber” has often been used to describe the meniscus, the menisci actually serve many functions in the human knee. Additional functions are theorized to be load bearing, lubrication, and proprioception. The meniscal function of load bearing may be clinically inferred by the degenerative changes that accompany meniscectomy.

Fairbank described radiographic changes […]


Histologically, the meniscus is a fibrocartilaginous tissue composed primarily of an interlacing network of collagen fibers interposed with cells. The cells of the meniscus are responsible for synthesizing and maintaining the extracellular matrix. There is still some debate as to whether the cells of the meniscus are fibroblasts, chondrocytes, or a mixture of both and […]