is found practically everywhere you look. Its found surrounding the ends
of bones that form joints, known as articular cartilage. Cartilage forms
around the ribs and is sometimes called rib or coastal cartilage. The epiglottis
in the throat is another form of cartilage. The trachea (windpipe) is another
place where cartilage is found. Wide cartilage plates are found in long
bones. When you are born, your bones are made up of elastic-like cartilage.
As you develop, your calcium and other mineral matter begin to take over
as your bones become larger and stronger.
is usually known
as a simple structure, it is actually a
complex, active tissue with a large
amount of structural heterogeneity.
Plus, biochemical analysis has shown
complex components. Between sixty
and eighty per cent of human
cartilage is water, the amount
varying according to joint type. Of
the remaining amount, collagen
accounts for around fifty per cent,
with the rest being proteoglycans
chondrocytes, and non-collagenous
proteins, lipids and inroganic
material. The collagen/ proteoglycan
matrix provides a frame for
the tissue and also forms a fluid area for
transporting nutrients, waste products,
chemical messengers and hormones, to
and from the chondrocytes.
a connective tissue that creates a temporary skeleton for an unborn baby.
In an adult, cartilage comes in three forms. Elastic cartilage contains
elastin which gives the epiglottis in the throat and the outer ear, a bouncy
effect. Fibrocartilage makes up special disks which separates the bones
of the spine and links them to the pubic bones. Hyaline cartilage forms
a special kind of cartilage that covers the ends of joints, connects the
ribs and breastbone, makes sure the large airways stay open, and shapes
the nose. Overall cartilage provides proction for joints, reduces friction
between bones, and provides shape for certain body parts.
Disorders and Damages
isan inflammation of the cartilage which connects the rib cage and sternum.
This disorder often affects new mothers. Pregnancy hormones make cartilage
painful and inflamed. Carrying our babies puts more strain on it.
Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is an systemic disorder described as a widespread and destructive inflammatory disorder involving structures with cartilage, the cardiovascular system, and organs of sense such as the eyes and ears. Attacks tend to vary in duration usually lasting for days to weeks before making an improvement. Reacuurent episodes may lead to permanent loss of usage in structures of cartilage.
Three or more clinical signs must be present:
1.Recurrent chondritis both auricles
2.Non-erosive inflammatory polyarthritis
5.Respiratory tract chondritis
6.Cochlear and, or, vestibular dysfunction
Symptoms that occur most frequently include: auricular chondritis, polyarthritis, nasal chondritis, ocular inflammation, and respiratory tract involvement. Cauliflower deformities may happen with calcification of cartilaginous portions. Eustachian tube dysfunction and collapse resulting in hearing loss may occur in the middle ear. Disintegration of the airway cartilages results in laryngo-tracheo-bronchial chondritis, chondromalacia, subglottic stenosis causing collapse of trachea and bronchi, pulmonary infections and asphyxia. People may also experience costochondral junction pain (arthropathy). The nasal cartilage might experience acute chondritis (pain, swelling), rhinorrhea, epistaxis, or saddle nose deformity. Approximately 25% of cases have coexistent diseases, especially autoimmune diseases (systemic vasculitis (PAN, Takayasu's, GCA, Wegener's), rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, SLE, PSS, Reiter's, Behcet's, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitic and paraneoplastic syndrome).
Knee cartilage tears are among the most common injuries in athletes because the knee joint is under constant pounding in many sports, from football and basketball to soccer and hockey.
Two types of cartilage are found in the knee joint: meniscus and articular. Meniscus cartilage is located between the femur and the tibia which serves as a cushion to reduce friction at the joint. As you are walking and running, it provides lubrication for the knee joint and distribute weight evenly by acting as a shock absorber. "Articular, or hyaline, cartilage is the substance that covers the ends of the femur and tibia and allows the two bones two glide against each other without grinding." (http://espn.com) Meniscus cartilage is more likely to be torn while playing sports because it's the line of defense in absorbing trauma in the knee. But either or both types can be damaged by the trauma.
A tear in cartilage commonly occurs when the knee is bent or flexed such when twisting or turning.
When torn an athlete will usually feel something tear. The knee may totally collapse and immediately swell. There'll be major pain and difficulty in walking. The ongoing symtpoms include pain along the side of the knee where the meniscus is torn, instability in which a piece of cartilage actually moves in the joint. But the impact of torn cartilage can be reduced by any patient. "They have to understand that for every pound they gain in excess of normal weight, that translates into three to four additional pounds across the knee. That's very important. That kind of load wears the knee out earlier. And people need to be aware that the quadriceps, the four-headed muscle in front of the thigh, is a crucial shock and impact absorber. It's important to keep that muscle strong and flexible, because it will help protect the joint surfaces of the knee. Keeping your weight down and keeping your legs strong are probably the most important of all preventive measures that can be taken." (http://espn.com)
Did you know.......?
This is our track. It includes information on cartilage
repair, torn cartilage, and general information on cartilage. Includes
great images of cartilage and knee injuries. When you are done take the
quiz to see how much you've learned.
This is a concentration game. There
will be sixteen cards. Flip over the different cards to reveal words
and definitions. When you match two of the correct answers you will receive
one point. If you are incorrect, you will receive extra points. The object
of the game is, at the end of the game to have the least amount of points.
Links and Annotations
* = An ok site. Doesn't really have that much info
** = A good site. Includes decent pictures and text.
*** = An
excellent site. Great pictures, info, and links
This is a very good site. It includes
information on torn cartilage. It has complete diagrams of cartilage in
the knee. You can talk with a professional, Dr.Goldman, about any concerns
or questionbs you have about cartilage.
This website talks about the structure
of cartilage itself. Includes
a great picture of the structure of cartilage. Breaks down the matter of
cartilage quickly and easily for you.
This site talks about the disorder
of cartilage called costochodritis. It doesn't include any pictures, but
it includes a good desription of what costochondritis is. You can also
link to a question and answerr with a professional to talk about diseases
site gives you the sraight out definition of cartilage itself. This site
doesn't have any pictures, but without them it gives you a clear, yet simple
understanding of cartilage. Includes links where you can type in any question
or word concernerd with cartilage and get an answer.
is an extremely excellent site. Includes lots of images on cartilage, torn
cartilage, and the structure of cartilage. The sites explanations are thorough
Richmond, Julius B MD. Health and Growth Volume 5. California State Department of Education. 1974
This book gives great insite on the parts and early stages of cartilage. For someone not knowing that much about cartilage, it talks about where cartilage is and why its there. It includes pictures of practically every place where you can find cartilage.The images and information is large and clear so that it is very understandable. (pgs. 48, 100, 108, 112, 113, 143)
Time Atlas of the Body. Rand McMally and Co. 1976
This book gives great picturces about cartilage and its counterparts. It also has a great description on hyaline cartilage, fibrocartilage and elastic cartilage. It has a gigantic picture of the structure of a bone and its cartilage. It also shows pictures and has information contrasting the three kinds of cartilage. It was the best information that we could find. ( pgs. 26-27)
McLoughim, E.V. LHD. The Unified Encyclopedia Vloume 6. hs Suttman Co. Inc. New York 1960
This book has about a paragraph
of information, but its woth looking at. If you want to know abotu cartilage.
It talks about the typoes of cartilage. It shows where the cartilage can
be found, what the different names of the cartilage work, and briefly describes
yellow and white fibrocartilage. Its like a shrt summary from the time
altsa book. (pg. 1813)