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Medial and Lateral Menisci of Knee joint

*The menisci of the knee joint are two pads of cartilaginous tissue which serve to disperse friction in the knee joint between the lower leg (tibia) and the thigh (femur). They are shaped concave on the top and flat on the bottom, articulating with the tibia. They are attached to the small depressions (fossae) between the condyles of the tibia (intercondyloid fossa), and towards the center they are unattached and their shape narrows to a thin shelf.

*Both are cartilaginous tissues that provide structural integrity to the knee when it undergoes tension and torsion. The menisci are also known as 'semi-lunar' cartilages — referring to their half-moon "C" shape — a term which has been largely dropped by the medical profession, but which led to the menisci being called knee 'cartilages' by the lay public.

*The menisci act to disperse the weight of the body and reduce friction during movement. Since the condyles of the femur and tibia meet at one point (which changes during flexion and extension), the menisci spread the load of the body's weight. This differs from sesamoid bones, which are made of osseous tissue and whose function primarily is to protect the nearby tendon and to increase its mechanical effect.


*Both the Medial and lateral menisci are outside the synovial cavity but within the joint cavity.

*The Medial meniscus is larger than the lateral meniscus.

*The Medial meniscus is C shaped where as the lateral mensicus is circular shaped.

*The Medial meniscus is directly attached to the medial collateral ligament, where as the Popliteal muscle interferes in between the attachment of lateral meniscus and lateral collateral ligament.

*The Medial collateral ligament is most commonly injured when compared with the lateral collateral ligament.

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