Illustrative review of knee meniscal tear patterns, repair and replacement options, and imaging evaluation

Clin Imaging. 2021 Jan:69:4-16. doi: 10.1016/j.clinimag.2020.06.045. Epub 2020 Jul 2.


This review article aims to reinforce anatomical concepts about meniscal tears while linking associated treatment options. The main teaching points start with the basic meniscal anatomy and key differences between the medial and lateral menisci. Subsequently, various meniscal tear patterns along with their associated history and physical exam findings will be discussed with corresponding illustrations and MR images. Additional discussion will involve the different surgical repair techniques (with arthroscopic correlates), their indications with pertinent imaging findings, imaging related to previous meniscal tear repairs, and novel surgical techniques. Lastly, keys to evaluating for retear with an emphasis on MRI arthrogram findings will be reviewed. While each of these topics is not discussed in totality, the key points of the review article will enforce key concepts and help radiologists evaluate the menisci on imaging.

Keywords: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); Meniscal repair; Meniscal replacement; Meniscal tear patterns; Meniscectomy; Meniscus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthroscopy
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries* / diagnostic imaging
  • Knee Injuries* / surgery
  • Knee Joint
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Menisci, Tibial / diagnostic imaging
  • Menisci, Tibial / surgery
  • Tibial Meniscus Injuries* / diagnostic imaging
  • Tibial Meniscus Injuries* / surgery