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What is Cartilage

Cartilage is a term we hear about often when it is connected to health issues especially arthritis. We know we have it but what is cartilage. Cartilage is a connective, protective and body shaping tissue in the body. Cartilage is a connective tissue in that it connects tendons to bone. It is a protective tissue in that it provides cushioning inside of joints that protects the bones from wear. It is a shaping tissue because it is found in places like the ear and nose and gives them their shape.

There are three types of cartilage

  • Hyaline cartilage is a strong, rubbery, flexible tissue. It is a protective type that lines the ends of bones and the inside of joints that keeps the bones from rubbing against each other and allows for the smooth movement of the joints.

  • Elastic cartilage is more flexible that hyaline cartilage and is present in the ear, larynx and epiglottis.

  • Fibrocartilage is a tough and inflexible form of cartilage that connects it muscles and tendons to bones. It is also found in the knee and makes up the discs between the vertebrae in your back.

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