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    Cartilage

    Cartilage

    Picture of cartilage (cross section of a joint)

    Cartilage is a type of hard, thick, slippery tissue that coats the ends of bones where they meet with other bones to form a joint. Cartilage lines the joint space between bones throughout the body, including the spine and the rib cage. It acts as a protective cushion between bones to absorb the stress applied to joints during movement.

    Cartilage is made up of protein strands called collagen that form a tough, meshlike framework. The mesh is filled with substances that hold water, much like a sponge. When weight is placed on cartilage, water is squeezed out of the mesh. When weight is taken off, the water returns. Cartilage does not contain blood vessels or nerves.

    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
    Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
    Specialist Medical Reviewer Freddie H. Fu, MD - Orthopedic Surgery

    Current as ofMay 23, 2016

    Current as of: May 23, 2016

    Author: Healthwise Staff

    Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Freddie H. Fu, MD - Orthopedic Surgery

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