A discoid meniscus does not trigger any pain but accompanied by a clicking noise. In every knee, there is medial and lateral meniscus which are C-shaped pieces of fibrocartilage that absorbs stress and serves as cushions amidst the knee bones. At birth, the meniscus does not have a C-shape, but discoid.
As one develops and start to walk, discoid meniscus evolves into its normal C-shape. In some children though, the lateral meniscus remains discoid in form.
The usual indication is a clicking or snapping sensation in the knee while walking, usually among children. Nevertheless, it is also likely for the onset to arise in the early adolescent years once sporting activities increases. Luckily, discoid meniscus is generally free from pain and only the clicking noise is perceived.
In some instances, as the child grows, the clicking increases and might lead to recurrent locking where the joint could not straighten or could not be flexed fully. This also manifests as knee pain.
How is it diagnosed
The appearance in an X-ray is usually normal in discoid meniscus. When confirming a diagnosis, an MRI is generally required to visualize the discoid meniscus.
Management of discoid meniscus
In most instances where there is no evident pain or locking, the treatment is conservative which includes stretching and strengthening exercises for the hamstring and quadriceps muscles along with proprioceptive and knee control exercises.
In case there is significant disability, surgery is required. Generally, partial excision is carried out to preserve the cushioning ability.