Originally Posted by Chas Tennis
CF, do you have some illustrations showing how the meniscus cartilage and the articulate cartilage work together?
The articulate cartilage is fixed on the bone ends, more part of the bone. The meniscus cartilage is in between them, sort of tied down at its ends. The meniscus is freer to move around within the knee joint and that's probably one reason that the meniscus injury is the most common knee injury.
I had 30-40% (surgeon's estimate) of my right meniscus removed 12 years ago. I'm not young, have played a lot of tennis and the knee feels fine. I asked my Dr, also the surgeon, how much of the meniscus could be removed and still have it function, he said 85%. I have never accepted that.
Healthy menisci sitting on top of the articular cartilage of the lower leg bone (tibia).
Meniscal tears vary widely in their severity.
Meniscal tears near the periphery can be sutured/repaired because the blood supply in this area is good enough to expect healing to occur. Other tears result in removal of the loose fragments of the meniscus because the blood supply is just not good enough to expect any healing will occur.
Clearly the meniscus does serve a function to help align the bi-lobed end of the upper leg bone (femur) in the shallow two cavities on the surface of the lower leg bone (tibial plateau).
I don't know how much of a remaining meniscus is needed to provide function - I would guess that it would depend where the removed segments are to say if the remaining portion of the meniscus is doing much good.
It would seem that having strong leg muscles (perhaps by doing squats) would contribute to knee stability to help compensate for any stability loss from removed portions of the meniscus.
Chas: Do you run with the barefoot posture of keeping your torso right over your legs, or do you have a pronounced heel strike? (The reason I ask is that it is probably better for your meniscal and articluar cartiage health to minimize the heel strike.)