After his sophomore year at Marquette, Dwyane Wade decided to have the meniscus in his left knee removed. It was a decision made for expediency’s sake, the Heat guard suggests now, and one he regrets.
Wade, who has battled knee problems throughout his 10-year NBA career and had to receive regular knee treatments through the second half of last season and the playoffs, believes that procedure in college caused more long-term issues for him.
“My knee problems and the things I’ve dealt with started from that,” Wade told ESPN.com. “That was  years ago, and technology was different, and the way you approach things was different. At the moment, if everyone looked ahead and said, ‘Dwyane’s going to have a 20-year career, maybe we should do something different,’ maybe I wouldn’t have [these knee problems]. At that time it was to get me back on the basketball court and do what was best.”
The meniscus is a rubbery, C-shaped disc that cushions the knee, according to WebMD. The menisci (there are two of them in each knee) keep the knee steady by balancing the weight across the knee. A torn meniscus — not to mention one that is absent altogether — can prevent the knee from working correctly.
Russell Westbrook suffered a torn meniscus in the playoffs last season. Despite recent complications from the surgery, Westbrook had his meniscus repaired rather than removed. The Thunder say they are optimistic about Westbrook’s chances for a near full recovery.