The knee joints is the meeting place of 2 large bones - the femur and tibia. The bones are lined by articular cartilage - this is what wears out in arthritis. Sitting between the two bones are shock absorbers called the meniscus. There are two meniscus - medial and lateral - this describes their location in the knee.
The meniscus performs many functions in the knee but the most important function is to absorb the shock that the knee experience during activity.
The meniscus can tear by an acute injury or tear wearing out over time. The meniscus does not heal once torn. The diagnosis is made by history, physical exam, and MRI.
Some meniscus tears are relatively asymptomatic and therefore treated without surgery. Meniscal tears that are symptomatic are treated surgically. At surgery the torn part of the meniscus is repaired or removed.