Ligaments of the Knee Joint Morphological variants of lateral meniscus of the knee: a cadaveric study in South Indian human fetuses.

Document Type

News Article


In the present study, the objectives were to study the morphology of the lateral menisci (LMs) in human fetuses from a South Indian population and to verify the developmental etiology of the discoid lateral meniscus (DLM). The study included 106 fetal knee joints which were fixed in 10% formalin. After dissecting the joints, the morphological variants of the shapes of the LMs were macroscopically noted and classified as discoid and nondiscoid. The nondiscoids were subdivided into C-shaped and crescentic. The discoid lateral menisci (DLMs) were divided into complete and incomplete discoid. From our observations, 82.1% of the LMs were found to be nondiscoid. Among them, 62.3% were C-shaped and 19.8% were crescentic. The remaining 17.9% of the LMs had a discoid shape, and among these, 14.1% were incomplete discoid and 3.8% were completely discoid. Bilaterality of the discoid shape was observed in 26.6% of the cases. There was a female preponderance (11:8) among LMs with discoid morphology. In conclusion, the prevalence of DLM according to the present study was estimated as 17.9%. Our findings favor Kaplan's theory, as the majority of the fetuses of various gestational ages had nondiscoid LMs. Even the youngest fetus (CRL 88 mm, 14 weeks of gestation) exhibited a lateral tibial plateau that was incompletely covered by the meniscus, which did not exhibit a discoid shape. We believe that the DLM is anomalous and arises through variant morphogenesis.

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Publication Date

Spring 10-1-2022