meniscus mə-ˈni-skəs noun
1. (optics) a lens that is concave on one side and convex on the other
2. (physics) the curved upper surface of a nonturbulent liquid in a vertical tube
3. (anatomy) a disk of cartilage that serves as a cushion between the ends of bones that meet at a joint
The word meniscus has appeared in 24 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Jan. 24 in “Zion Williamson Is Back. Will His Knee Hold Up?” by Jeré Longman:
With guidance from the medical staff of the New Orleans Pelicans, Williamson tried to correct biomechanical flaws suspected of contributing to a tear in the lateral meniscus — a rubbery, shock-absorbing cartilage on the outside of his right knee.
The meniscus was trimmed during surgery in October. Then, said Williamson, who can leap so much higher and is so much more agile than one might expect of someone his size, it was time to learn how to run and jump more safely. Williamson trained himself to land with his knees bent, instead of straight-legged. The bent-knee landing helps disperse the pounding forces of basketball. He also worked to avoid tilting his knees inward when landing with a rebound or making a sharp cut, which can put added stress on the outside of the joints.