Derrick Rose: How Common is A Torn Meniscus?

Matthew Silbernagel

Derrick Rose of the NBA's Chicago Bulls, has reportedly been scheduled for a third major knee surgery. Derrick Rose, a one time NBA MVP, has been scheduled to undergo this third major knee surgery in response to a tear in the meniscus in his right knee. While this is certainly devastating news for any Derrick Rose fan, just how common is the type of injury suffered by Rose in the world of professional sports?

Before addressing the commonality of a torn meniscus, perhaps it is important to first review what a meniscus actually is. According to OA, a division of Spectrum Medical Group, the meniscus is as follows.

"... a half moon shaped piece of cartilage that lies between the weight bearing joint surfaces of the femur and the tibia. It is triangular in cross section and is attached to the lining of the knee joint along its periphery. There are two menisci in a normal knee; the outside one is called the lateral meniscus, the inner one the medial meniscus."

With a basic understanding of what the meniscus is, it is important to get a proper definition and understanding of exactly what goes into tearing one's meniscus like Derrick Rose has done.

In regards to a torn meniscus, Mayo Clinic reports as follows.

"A torn meniscus can result from any activity that causes you to forcefully twist or rotate your knee, such as aggressive pivoting or sudden stops and turns. Even kneeling, deep squatting or lifting something heavy can sometimes lead to a torn meniscus. In older adults, degenerative changes of the knee may contribute to a torn meniscus."

On February 25, Seattle Mariner Michael Saunders tore the meniscus in his left knee as a result of a poorly placed step. Like Rose, Saunders will have to take a break from his athletic endeavors while his knee has time to recover.

Another recent story involving a professional athlete and a torn meniscus is that of Henry Walker. Monday, February 23, saw Walker's return to the NBA. Walker first joined the NBA in 2008 but would later be sidelined after his sophomore year due to a torn meniscus.

So the question now stands, will Derrick Rose be able to come back from yet another meniscus injury like Henry Walker, or will he be confined to the "has been" section of the NBA's storied history?