Radial meniscal tear

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr Yuranga Weerakkody et al.

Radial meniscal tears are a form of meniscal tear where the tear extends radially from the free edge of the meniscus.

They run perpendicular to the tibial plateau. The long axis of the meniscus transects the longitudinal collagen bundles as it extends from the free edge toward the periphery.

Radial tears often disrupt the hoop strength of the meniscus with resultant loss of function and possible meniscal extrusion.

They can occur anywhere but tends to predominate at:

  • posterior horn of the medial meniscus
  • junction of the anterior horn and body of the lateral meniscus

Can vary dependent on the size and site of the tear. A large tear may result in the ghost meniscus sign.

They are often not repaired due to being located within the avascular zone and therefore having a low likelihood of healing 2.

On some coronal MR images, a meniscal flounce may mimic a radial tear 2.

Knee pathology

The knee is a complex synovial joint that can be affected by a range of pathologies:

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Article information

rID: 41728
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Radial tear
  • Radial tear of meniscus
  • Radial meniscal tears
  • Radial tears
  • Radial tears of menisci

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 3
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  • Case 4: radial tear with gap
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