Pediatric meniscus morphology varies with age: a cadaveric study

Matthew S. Rohde, Sunny Trivedi, Sahej Randhawa, Christian E. Wright, Brian B. Vuong, Nicole Pham, Tyler Stavinoha, Henry B. Ellis, Theodore J. Ganley, Daniel W. Green, Peter D. Fabricant, Marc Tompkins, Kevin G. Shea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: In adolescent patients, meniscal tear injury can occur either in isolation (e.g., discoid lateral meniscus tears) or in association with other traumatic injuries including tibial eminence fracture or ACL tear. Damage to meniscal integrity has been shown to increase contact pressure in articular cartilage, increasing risk of early onset osteoarthritis. In symptomatic patients failing conservative management, surgical intervention via meniscus repair or meniscus transplant is indicated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the radial dimensions of pediatric menisci throughout development. The hypothesis was that the average radial meniscus dimensions will increase as specimen age increases, and mean medial and lateral region measurements will increase at a linear rate. Methods: Seventy-eight skeletally immature knee cadaver specimens under age 12 years were included in this study. The meniscal specimens were photographed in the axial view with ruler in the plane of the tibial plateau and analyzed using computer-aided design (CAD) software (Autodesk Fusion 360). Measurements were taken from inner to outer meniscus rims at five 45 degree intervals using the clockface as a reference (12:00, 1:30, 3:00, 4:30, 6:00), and total area of meniscus and tibial plateau was recorded. Generalized linear models were used to evaluate the associations of radial width measurements with age, tibial coverage, and lateral vs. medial meniscus widths. Results: All radial width measurements increased significantly with specimen age (p ≤ 0.002), and all lateral-medial meniscal widths increased (p < 0.001). The anterior zones of the meniscus were found to increase at the slowest rate compared to other regions. Tibial plateau coverage was found to not significantly vary with age. Conclusions: Meniscus radial width and lateral–medial meniscus width are related to age. The anterior width of the meniscus varied least with age. Improved anatomic understanding may help surgeons more effectively plan for meniscus repair, discoid resection/saucerization/repair, and also support appropriate selection of meniscus allograft for transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4179-4186
Number of pages8
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s) under exclusive licence to European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery, Arthroscopy (ESSKA).


  • Anatomy
  • Discoid
  • Knee
  • Meniscus
  • Pediatric
  • Repair

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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