An essential asset to your skeletal system is cartilage, which is a flexible but strong connective tissue to help provide your body support where you need it most. Think of it this way: bones are rigid and provide structural support while muscles bend and stretch; cartilage is the middle-man between the two, as it is not as hard as bone, but it is less flexible than muscle. If your cartilage becomes damaged or completely wears down, it may be cause to visit our orthopedic surgeon in Elgin.
Where is Cartilage Found?
Throughout your body, there are three different types of cartilage, including elastic cartilage, hyaline cartilage, and fibrocartilage. Just like the name sounds, elastic cartilage is the most flexible, meaning it contains the most chondrocytes. You can find this type of cartilage in your ear.
Hyaline cartilage is the second most flexible type of cartilage, and it’s found in your nose and at the end of your ribs. There are fewer chondrocytes in this type of cartilage than found in elastic cartilage.
Finally, fibrocartilage has the fewest number of chondrocytes, meaning it has the least amount of bend. This is the type of cartilage found in your knee and between the vertebrae in your spine.
Throughout years of overuse, cartilage in your body begins to deteriorate. Because the cushioning between your joints decreases, it causes your bones to rub together. Arthritis can be extremely painful! If you are in pain, you can contact Dr. Gitelis, our orthopedic surgeon in Elgin to explore your treatment options.