The knee joint is one of the largest in the body, rivaling others in complexity and importance. Since it is so vital to movement, it is quite easy to injure the knee through simple actions or athletic endeavors. Part of the reason it can sustain so many problems is because it is comprised of many different, interlinking parts. This allows for many problems to occur.
Of the types of knee injuries, tears of the meniscus are quite common. In fact, contact sport athletes are particularly at risk for a tear of this cushioning cartilage. You don’t need to be an athlete, though, to tear this tissue, and any age group is susceptible. A torn meniscus is often called torn cartilage in the knee, and they are the same thing.
The knee joint is made up of the meeting of three important bones. The thigh bone, or femur, makes up the top half of the knee joint, while the shin bone, or tibia, makes up the lower part of the structure. In the center of the meeting is the kneecap, or patella, that slides across the top of the joint. The meniscus is located between the femur and the tibia. In fact, you have two in each knee, one on each side, that form wedge-shaped pieces. These cartilage pads are used as shock absorbers between the joining bones. Their tough, rubbery material makes them perfect for protecting the ends of the bones and supporting the weight of the body.