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The meniscus is one of the most commonly injured structures in the knee Meniscal injuries can occur in any age group but causes are somewhat different for each age group In younger people the meniscus is fairly tough and rubbery and tears usually occur as a result of a fairly forceful twisting injury In the younger age group meniscal tears are more likely to be caused by athletic activity Sutton 1999 In older people the meniscus grows weaker with age The tissue that makes up the meniscus becomes degenerative and much easier to tear Meniscal injuries in older people occur as a result of a fairly minor injury even from the up and down motion of squatting Degenerative tears of the meniscus are commonly seen as a part of the overall condition of osteoarthritis of the knee in the older population In many cases there is no one associated injury to the knee that leads to meniscal tears Sutton 1999 In order to understand how the menisci can be injured you must understand the basic anatomy of the menisci and why they are important The menisci are two oval semilunar fibrocartilages that deepen the articular facets of the tibia and cushion any stresses placed on the knee joint They enhance the total stability of the knee assist in the control of normal knee motion and provide shock absorption against compression forces between the tibia and the femur Booher 2000 Articular cartilage covers the ends of the bones that make up the joint The articular cartilage surface is a tough very slick material that allows the surfaces to slide against one another without damage to either surface This ability of the meniscus to spread out the force on the joint surfaces as we walk is important because it protects the articular cartilage from excessive forces occurring in any one area on the joint surface leading to degeneration over time Sutton 1999 Blood is
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