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What Role Does the Meniscus Play in Your Body?

What Role Does the Meniscus Play in Your Body?

At OasisMD Lifestyle Healthcare with offices in Encinitas, San Diego, and Temecula, California, our orthopedic specialists are committed to educating our patients about the complexities of the human body. One of the crucial yet often overlooked components is the meniscus

It's a term you might have heard, especially in connection with knee injuries, but do you really know what role the meniscus plays in your body? Let’s explore this vital structure, the signs it’s time to seek help for a meniscus injury, and common treatments that can help. 

Understanding the meniscus

The meniscus is a crescent-shaped piece of cartilage in the knee. Each knee has two menisci (plural of meniscus), and they are located between your thigh bone (femur) and shinbone (tibia). They act as shock absorbers and play an essential role in maintaining knee stability and flexibility. Here’s a closer look at the roles they play:

Shock absorber and stabilizer

Imagine your knees bearing the weight of your body every day, whether you're walking, running, or jumping. The meniscus helps distribute this weight across your knee joint, preventing undue stress on any single area. 

By acting as a cushion, it absorbs the shock from these movements, protecting the bones from wear and tear.

Facilitator of smooth movement

The meniscus also ensures the smooth movement of your knee joint by reducing friction between the bones. Its unique structure and makeup allow it to match the movements of your knee, providing a smooth gliding surface.

Nutrient distribution

Besides its mechanical functions, the meniscus also plays a role in distributing nutrients to the cartilage within your joint. It keeps your other cartilages healthy, so your knee works well for life

Recognizing meniscus problems

Injuries to the meniscus are relatively common, especially among athletes. They can happen from sudden twisting movements or over time because of wear-and-tear. Symptoms that you may have a meniscus injury include:

Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination, followed by imaging tests such as an MRI, to confirm the nature and extent of the injury.

Treating meniscus injuries

When it comes to treating a meniscus injury, the providers at OasisMD Lifestyle Healthcare believe in a patient-centered approach. We work to make sure your treatment aligns with the severity and type of your injury. Here's what you might expect:

Conservative therapies

For minor tears or injuries resulting from arthritis, a simple treatment approach could be enough. This often includes rest, applying ice, and over-the-counter pain medications. With time, these measures may allow the injury to heal on its own.

Physical therapy

Following a meniscus injury, strengthening the muscles around the knee joint can be pivotal in stabilizing it. Our specialists may recommend physical therapy to enhance recovery.

Regenerative medicine

OasisMD Lifestyle Healthcare also offers innovative regenerative medicine treatments like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. In this procedure, platelets from your blood are injected into the injured area, stimulating cell growth and accelerating healing.


If the injury is severe or persistent despite conservative treatments, our orthopedic specialists might suggest surgery. 

Using a minimally invasive arthroscopic approach, they can repair or trim the damaged menisci. This involves small incisions and a tiny tube with a camera attached, followed by targeted exercises to strengthen and stabilize your knee joint post-surgery.

What to do if you’re worried about your meniscus

If you're experiencing any symptoms that point to a meniscus problem, don’t ignore them. Prompt evaluation by an orthopedic specialist, like the providers at OasisMD Lifestyle Healthcare, helps identify the underlying issue and gets you started on the right course of treatment.

Our team's expertise ensures that you receive personalized meniscus care tailored to your specific needs. Whether it's through conservative treatment or surgical intervention, our goal is to restore function and relieve pain, allowing you to get back to your daily activities.

Schedule an appointment online or call the OasisMD Lifestyle Healthcare location nearest you to learn more about this important cartilage or for help with a suspected meniscus injury.

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