Degeneration of the Meniscus and Progression of Osteoarthritis

David Hunter, MBBS, PhD, FRACP
Royal North Shore Hospital, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Introduction

A major function of the meniscus involves load bearing and shock absorption. This function is provided in part through the microstructure of the menisci which contain circumferentially oriented collagen fibers woven together with radial fibers. These structures appear to act like tension rods to maintain shape and structure when axially loaded. The menisci transmit anywhere from 45% to 60% of the compressive load across the knee. If the meniscus does not cover the articular surface that it is designed to protect due to change in position or a tear, it will be unable to resist axial loading and will not perform this role. The absence of a functioning meniscus increases peak and average contact stresses in the medial compartment from 40% to 700%.

This article appears in HSS Journal: Volume 8, Number 1.
View the full article at springerlink.com.

About the HSS Journal

HSS Journal, an academic peer-reviewed journal published three times a year, February, July and October. The Journal accepts and publishes peer reviewed articles from around the world that contribute to the advancement of the knowledge of musculoskeletal diseases and disorders.


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