Meniscal Lesions: Diagnosis and Treatment

Robert S. P. Fan, MD, Richard K. N. Ryu, MD

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Lesions of the meniscus are commonly encountered in the practice of knee surgery. Our knowledge and understanding of the anatomy and function of the meniscus has evolved significantly over the past few decades. This, along with advances in arthroscopic surgery, have dramatically changed our surgical philosophy. Where once open total meniscectomy was the preferred treatment, efforts are now directed at meniscal preservation and even restoration. Commonly accepted treatment of meniscal disorders now includes arthroscopic partial meniscectomy, as well as meniscal repair. Currently, efforts are being studied to replace and/or regenerate the meniscus in an effort to restore function. This review intends to highlight the diagnosis and treatment of meniscal pathology.


Meniscal lesions are among the most common knee disorders encountered by the practicing orthopaedic surgeon. Our knowledge and understanding of the meniscus has evolved significantly over the past several decades. The meniscus was once regarded as a vestigial structure that served no function, and appeared as little more than an embryologic remnant. This lack of appreciation for its function formed the basis for total meniscectomy. Advances in the knowledge of the anatomy and function of the meniscus, together with the development of arthroscopic surgery, have led to the foundation of contemporary meniscal treatment. Surgical philosophy has now matured from routine excision to preservation and even restoration. A fundamental and expanded knowledge of meniscal anatomy, biomechanics, and function is crucial to understanding meniscal pathology and treatment.


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