About this disease

What it concerns

The medial meniscus and the lateral meniscus are a pair of cartilage discs belonging to each knee. The discs are crescent-shaped and serve as shock absorbers, stabilizers, brake pads and pressure distributors. They also compensate for unevenness between the bones that make up the joint. The meniscus is one of the problem areas in the knee. An injury-related tear in the meniscus, age-related degeneration of the tissue, or a combination of both are called a meniscal lesion (meniscal damage).


A distinction is made between a meniscus injury (meniscus lesion), a meniscus disease (meniscopathy) and a meniscus tear (meniscus rupture). In a meniscal tear, the cartilage tissue is torn or completely severed at a specific location. Injuries to the meniscus can occur in different parts of the cartilage. When it comes to the question of treatment, in addition to the localization of the tear, its shape is important.

Symptoms and consequences

In acute injuries, the pain is often is noticeably intense. In contrast, age-related meniscus damage is usually detected late, as it does not necessarily cause discomfort in the initial phase. Meniscus damage can manifest itself as mild or severe knee pain that sets in or intensifies, for example, when stretching, bending, walking or running.

How we can help you

Examination and diagnosis

If the physical examination reveals indications of a meniscus lesion, a clarification is carried out by means of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


An acute knee injury should first be treated with the usual immediate measures such as cooling, pressure dressing or elevation. Various conservative as well as surgical measures are available for the treatment of meniscal damage. In the context of surgical treatment, there are two procedures to correct the injury: partial removal of damaged or free meniscal tissue (partial meniscal resection) and reconstruction of the meniscus (meniscal suture).

Responsible departments

Sports medicine


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