Two hundred eighty meniscal horns in 64 asymptomatic volunteers in the 2nd to 8th decades of life were analyzed for meniscal abnormalities. Grade 1, 2, and 3 changes were present in essentially all decades. There was at least a 25% prevalence of meniscal signal abnormalities as early as the 2nd decade. The prevalence of meniscal abnormalities increased sharply with age. The prevalence of all signal abnormalities correlated with age, grade 2 changes having the highest correlation coefficient (+.88). The correlation coefficient for grades 1 and 3 changes were +.60 and +.71, respectively. The posterior horn of the medial meniscus had a significantly higher (P less than .02) prevalence of abnormalities than did the other meniscal locations. There was no significant correlation between subject weight or sex and meniscal signal. The authors conclude that there is a baseline prevalence of meniscal signal in the asymptomatic population.