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Table 1 Meniscal differences between the normal and the degenerative knee

From: Cellular and molecular meniscal changes in the degenerative knee: a review

  MENISCUS: normal knee MENISCUS: degenerative knee
Gross anatomy Translucent, smooth and glistering Dark yellow to brown or reddish color, roughened and fibrillated surfaces
Cell population 0.12% of the meniscus weight (around 98 cells per 0.1 mm2) Decreased
Proliferating cells Frequently observed Almost absent
Necrosis and apoptosis Almost absent Frequently observed
Cells clusters Exceptionally Frequently observed
Calcification No Frequently observed
Collagen Dense framework of collagen fibers. Type I (90%) Reduced and disrupted or fragmented
Proteoglycans <  1% and 80% sulfated Initially increases. Tend to decrease in advances stages
COMP High amounts.
Same heterogeneous distribution than cells, decreasing from the red to the white zone