Discoid Meniscus

Discoid Meniscus

Article by John Miller

What is a Discoid Meniscus?

Discoid Meniscus

Every knee has a medial and lateral meniscus which are C-shaped pieces of fibrocartilage that absorb stress and act as cushions between the bones at the knee. At birth, the meniscus is not C-shaped, but discoid (round like a discus).

With growth and walking, the discoid meniscus evolves into its normal C-shape. In some children, the lateral meniscus continues to stay discoid with growth. The incidence is approximately 3-5% of the population.

discoid meniscus

What are the Symptoms of a Discoid Meniscus?

The most common presentation is a 6 to an 8-year-old child with a “snapping” or a “clicking” knee when they walk. However, it is also possible for the onset to occur in early adolescent years when a child’s sporting activities increase. Luckily, a discoid meniscus is usually pain-free, and the clicking noise frequently noticed first.

In some instances, as the child grows older, the click increases and may cause recurrent locking, where they are unable to straighten or bend their knee fully. This lock will commonly also manifest as pain in the knee.

What Tests Confirm a Discoid Meniscus?

The X-ray appearance is usually healthy in a discoid meniscus. To confirm the diagnosis, an MRI is often necessary to visualise the discoid meniscus.

What is the Treatment of Discoid Meniscus?

In most cases, if there is no significant locking or pain, treatment is non-surgical. Physiotherapist- prescribed exercises consisting of stretching and strengthening exercises for the Quadriceps and Hamstring muscles plus proprioceptive and knee control exercises are normally successful.

In cases where there is a significant disability, surgical excision may occur. In most cases, a partial removal to preserve the cushioning function may be sufficient. You will need to consult with an Orthopaedic Surgeon for a medical opinion.

Please consult your knee physiotherapist or doctor for specific advice regarding your discoid meniscus.

Common Causes - Knee Pain

Knee pain can have many origins from local injury, referred pain, biomechanical issues and systemic issues. While knee pain can appear simple to the untrained eye, a thorough assessment is often required to ascertain the origin of your symptoms. The good news is that once a definitive diagnosis is determined, most knee pain quickly resolves with the correct treatment and rehabilitation.

Knee Ligament Injuries

Knee Meniscus Injuries

Kneecap Pain

Knee Arthritis

Knee Tendon Injuries

Muscle Injuries

Knee Bursitis

Children’s Knee Conditions

Other Knee-Related Conditions

Knee Surgery

For specific information regarding your knee pain, please seek the assistance of a healthcare professional with a particular interest in knee condition, such as your physiotherapist.

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