What is a discoid meniscus?
The meniscus is crescent-shaped cartilage located in the knee joint between the femur (thighbone) and the tibia (shinbone). Each knee has two menisci, one on the outside (lateral) and one on the inside (medial). They act as shock absorbers while walking or running. A person suffering from a discoid meniscus has an irregularly shaped meniscus, often half-moon shaped or oval. The discoid meniscus is characterized by being “too big” and is often thicker than a normal meniscus. Discoid meniscus is also known as “popping knee syndrome” due to the sound the injured knee can make. Individuals with a discoid meniscus, which typically occur on the lateral side of the knee, are more prone to injury from sports that require pivoting or cutting. The meniscus can get caught in the knee joint and more easily tear. The cause of discoid menisci is not well understood but believed to be a birth defect. It is common to develop injuries in childhood, but many people do not experience a serious issue. There are three types of discoid menisci: incomplete, where the meniscus is slightly thicker and wider than average, complete, where the meniscus completely covers the shinbone, and hypermobile Wrisberg, where the ligaments that attach the meniscus to knee capsule are missing. Dr. Riley Williams, orthopedic knee specialist, serving Manhattan, Brooklyn, New York City, NY and surrounding areas, has extensive experience in treating patients with discoid menisci and other cartilage defects, repairs and restorations.