Difference between bones and cartilage
Bone vs cartilage:
The human body is a complex system of various organs that is not very easy to understand from the view point of an ordinary human being. There are many organs in our body that we might not be even aware of but what performs a rather significant role in the function of our day to day lives. Bones and cartilages are two such aspects of our bodies that we are almost not aware of while certain others are led in to believing that bones and cartilages are exactly the same.
What is bone?
A bone is a rigid part of the body that functions many essential roles within the body such as supporting and protecting various organs of the body, producing white and red blood cells and storing minerals as well. Bones make up the endoskeleton of vertebrates of the body. Bones are made up of several types of tissues such as osseous tissue, marrow, endosteum, periosteum, nerves, blood vessels and cartilage. It is said that in a child’s body, there exists about 207 bones which fuse together and form in to 206 bones while the child grows in to an adult.
What is cartilage?
A cartilage is a kind of a connective tissue that is found in the body, specifically in joints and other areas such as the rib cage, the ear, the nose, the elbow, the knee, the ankle, the bronchial tubes and the intervertebral discs. Cartilage is made up of chondroblasts, chondrocytes and a dense matrix comprising of collagen and elastic fibers, in which the maturechondrocyte cells are embedded. Cartilage exists in three types such as elastic cartilage, hyaline cartilage and fibrocartilage that are thus categorized according to the amount in which the above mentioned components are distributed within the cartilage. Cartilage grows and repairs more slowly than other connective tissue due to the reason that it does not contain any blood vessels.
What is the difference between cartilage and bone?
Cartilage and bone are two integral parts of the bodies of both man and animal and yet, it is very easy to get confused between the two. However, bone can be introduced as a hard component in the human body that makes up the endoskeleton of vertebrates whereas cartilage is a much softer, more pliable component that is mostly found in between joints of bones. Out of the many tissue that make up bone, cartilage happens to be one specific tissue.
The functions of these two components are very different. Bones basically protect the internal organs, give a structure to the body, allow movement in the body as well as produce blood. Bones also store certain substances such as minerals, fat and acid base, also acting as an endoctrine organ controlling phosphate metabolism by releasing fibroblast growth factor – 23. Cartilage on the other hand, reduces friction at the joints, supports tracheal and bronchial tubes, acts as shock absorbers between vertebrae as well as maintains the shape and flexibility of ear, nose and etc. The structures of these two components are also very different. Bones are made up of osteoblasts, the progenitor cells that produce osteocytes, which are the mature bone cells and osteoclasts which are large cells that break down the bone tissue during growth, repair and remodeling processes. Cartilage on the other hand, is comprised of chondrocytes which are produced by precursor cells known as chondroblasts, which produce a matrix of collagen and elastin fibers, in which the maturechondrocyte cells are embedded.
There are many types of bones and cartilages existing in the body. The bone types can be categorized as long, short, flat, irregular, sesamoid and sutural bones whereas cartilage types are usually categorized as hyaline cartilage, fibrocartilage and elastic cartilage. Out of all these, it is the hyaline cartilage that is found in abounding amounts in the body, specifically in areas such as the bronchial tubes, larynx, nose and trachea, end of long bones and in the embryonic skeleton. Both bones and cartilage are subjected to various diseases as well and yet, these diseases too differ largely in nature. Bones are often subjected to diseases such as osteoporosis, osteosarcoma, osteomyelitis and osteogenesis imperfecta and etc whereas cartilage is often subjected to conditions such as osteoarthritis, achondroplasia, costochondritis, and other chondrodystrophies. It is also a known fact that bones and cartilage do not heal easily. Therefore, it is wise to take the necessary measures to protect these all important parts of the body from diseases and fractures of all kinds that tend to occur in everyday life.
Tags: achondroplasia, cartilage, costochondritis, elastic cartilage, fibrocartilage, hyaline cartilage, ossein, osseous matter, osteoarthritis, osteomyelitis and osteogenesis imperfecta, osteoporosis, osteosarcoma