You may not even be sure what your meniscus is, but according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a tear to the meniscus is one of the most frequent knee injuries. Each of your knees has two menisci. These are curved pieces of cartilage that provide cushioning between bones. Your medial meniscus is inside your knee between your femur (upper leg bone) and tibia (lower leg bone.) Your lateral meniscus connects these same two bones on the outside edge. While some tears are due to obvious injury, some develop due to disease, such as arthritis.
10. Damage Caused by Injury
Athletes may sustain an injury to the meniscus if they engage in sports that require a lot of twisting of the knees. Sports that require squatting or pivoting can include volleyball, basketball, and tennis. Contact sports can also lead to tears of the meniscus in collisions on the football field or basketball court. Running on uneven terrain can be jarring to the knee, resulting in damage to the meniscus, and is seen in such sports as cross country running. Athletes are not the only people at risk for injury to the meniscus. Professions that involve a lot of standing, squatting, and knee bending can place strain on the knee joints. Plumbers, floor layers, and roofers are susceptible to this type of strain.
9. Damage Caused by Disease
Sometimes the meniscus suffers damage without any obvious injury. Over time, normal wear and tear, along with the aging process, can result in a meniscus that is less flexible and more susceptible to injury. Degenerative conditions, such as osteoarthritis, can wear away at the cartilage of the meniscus and cause tears as well. These types of tears are more likely to occur in the elderly.