Update (12/22/14): Josh McRoberts had the torn lateral meniscus in his right knee repaired (versus partially removed). A repair approach has a significantly longer recovery time, but much better long-term prognosis. The surgery will be season-ending. The Heat has applied for a $2.65 million disabled player exception.
The Miami Heat announced that Josh McRoberts has torn the lateral meniscus in his right knee.
McRoberts injured the knee late in the fourth quarter of the Heat’s win in Phoenix last Tuesday when he fell awkwardly to the court while pursuing a loose ball. He is scheduled to undergo surgery this week, and could miss the rest of the season.
“This will not be a short-term thing,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He’ll be out a while, if he even does make it back this season.”
Each knee has two menisci, which are C-shaped wedges of fibro-cartilage positioned between the femur (thighbone) and the tibia (shinbone), one on the medial (inside) compartment of the knee and the other on the lateral (outside) compartment of the knee.
The mensci serve several functions:
- They safely transmit loads across the knee, the most weight-bearing joint in the human body. The forces across the joint can reach up to two to four times your body weight while walking and up to six to eight times your body weight while running. The lateral meniscus bears more of the load than the medial meniscus.
- They act as shock absorbers that protect the femur and tibia from constantly pounding into each other, thus maintaining the health of the articular cartilage that resides at the ends of both of these bones. Articular cartilage is what prevents bone-on-bone interaction as the knee is flexed and extended, called osteoarthritis, which can be excruciatingly painful.
- They act as secondary stabilizers for the knee (in conjunction with the ligaments which connect the tibia and femur), protecting it from abnormal front-to-back motion.
Proper treatment of a meniscal tear is therefore vital, in order to maintain the structural integrity of the knee and to preserve the health of the articular cartilage.
There are two recognized surgical treatments for meniscal tear: repair and removal (i.e., meniscectomy). Read more…