What is a discoid meniscus, and can you have them in both knees?

A small percentage of the population has an abnormal shape of the meniscus, called a discoid meniscus. Most often, these people don’t even know they have a problem unless that meniscus tears.

In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I answer a question from someone who has a discoid meniscus and had surgery when she suffered a tear.

Jennifer asks:
Hi Dr. Geier, I think I may have a unique question you haven’t answered yet! I had a left knee partial lateral meniscectomy for a bucket-handle tear about 5 weeks ago. My meniscus was apparently “discoid” instead of C-shaped. My understanding is that even with the partial meniscus removal, I have a fair amount of lateral meniscus remaining.
What are the odds that my right knee menisci are also discoid? My orthopedic surgeon indicated that discoid menisci are more prone to tears than “normal” menisci.
Thanks!

A discoid meniscus is semi-circular instead of C-shaped. Many people have them and don’t know it. If a patient does tear the meniscus, the orthopedic surgeon can trim out the inner part and reshape it back to the normal C-shape.

In this video, I discuss their significance and how likely they are to be bilateral. I also discuss whether you should find out if you have a discoid meniscus and what you would do about it.

Also read:
Ask Dr. Geier – What is a discoid meniscus?
Ask Dr. Geier – Do you need surgery for a meniscus tear?

Woman with knee pain from discoid meniscus tear