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Difference between Bone and Cartilage

Difference between Bone and Cartilage

Human body is the most sophisticated creation of the nature. The body that we look in the mirror is the most complex machine as well. This body is not made up by senses, organs, blood, muscles.But bone, cartilage, fluids, elements, chemicals; these elements have also made up this body.

Without bones our body is a unshaped structure of flesh and blood. Bones provide a definite shape and structure to the body. So that we can move, turn and bent.


A bone is the hardest tissues that form together a structural Skeleton.

In a new born baby, there are total 270 bones. As a child grow, some bone join together and in mature body, there are total 206 bones in human body.

Bones are reinforced by Calcium. Mineral salts are responsible for the hardness and rigidity of bones.

99% of total body’s calcium found in Bones and Teeth.

The outermost layer of bone is called Periosteum. It’s a very thin membrane that found at the surface of bone.

Periosteum is the place where blood vessels and nerves present that nourishes the bones.

Functions of Bones:-

Bones plays a vital role in the body. Let’s discuss the function of bones:

  • Major function of bones is to provide support because it holds the entire body together.
  • Bones provide protection of internal organs such as Heart, Kidney etc.
  • The shape and structure of our body is only possible because of bones.
  • Bones are strong enough that carry the weight of entire body.
  • Bones allow us to move and bent.
  • Bones also help in the absorption of metals, excessive salts and some toxic elements from the blood.
  • Bones keep many minerals (mainly Calcium and Phosphorus), lipids, crucial nutrient. It nourish the body.
  • Bones together form a structure called Skeleton. It provides a shape to the body.
  • Mostly bones in our body contain BoneMarrow where blood cells are made.

Types of Bones:-

The mainly four types of bones are:

  1. Long bone
  2. Short bone
  3. Flat bone
  4. Irregular bone


Cartilage is the important component of the body. It is made up from soft tissues and more flexible than bones. Cartilage is the connective tissue that founds in between the two bones, joints such as knee, elbow and ankles.

Functions of Cartilage:-

The functions of Cartilage are given below:

  • It is the softer and flexible component so it provides the flexibility to the bone. That helps the joints to move and bent.
  • It is like a coating on the surface of bones which helps to reduce the friction between bones.
  • Cartilage allows the smooth movement of bones.
  • It is a component that can not heal by itself. Damaged cartilage can be healing by the bone.
  • Cartilage found in joints, rib cage, ear, nose and throat.
  • If the cartilage gets damaged, it causes inflammation, joints pain and some degree of disability.

Types of Cartilage:-

There are three types of cartilagecoated with the bones:

  1. Hyaline Cartilage
  2. Fibrous Cartilage
  3. ElasticCartilage

Some common features of Bone and Cartilage:-

Although bone and cartilage are two different components yet there are some similarities between both of them. Some common features of bone and cartilage are given below:

  • Both are the connective tissues that helps in binding, connecting and provide support to the skeleton system.
  • Bone, cartilage and other components contribute to form the skeleton system which is important for the structure, support and protection in the body.
  • Bone and cartilage provide a unique combination of rigidity and flexibility to the joints.
  • Getting damage of bone and cartilage can cause inflammation, joints pain and some bone disorders.

Difference between Bone and Cartilage:-

Cartilage is associated with the bone so many people get confused and understand cartilage and bone is the same thing.

NatureBones are hard and rigid and non- flexible connective tissues.Cartilage are softer and more flexible than bones
CompositionBones are made up by minerals (such as calcium and phosphorus) and water.Cartilage mainly contains protein and fibre.
Cause behind configurationThe cause of hardness is MineralSalts.The reason behind flexibility of cartilage is ElastinProtein.
FunctionsBones provide a definite shape and support to the body.Cartilage provide flexibility and smooth movement to the bones.
Direction of growthBones grow in bidirectional.The growth of cartilage is unidirectional.
Bone MarrowUsually bone marrow present at the centre of bones.Absent of bone marrow in cartilage.
Porous in natureBones are porous.Cartilage are non porous in nature.
MatrixBone matrix made up of water, organic and inorganic compounds.Cartilage matrix is absolutely organic.
Blood SupplyBones have a rich blood supply so that damaged bone can repair fast.There is lack of blood supply so that process of cartilage repairing is slow.
Nerves and Blood VesselsPeriosteum is a thin layer that contains nerves and blood vessels.Cartilage does not contains blood vessels and nerves.
Regeneration and RepairingDamaged bones can repair and regenerate fast due to blood supply.After damaging cartilage can notregenerate themselves.

Common Disease of Bones:-

  • BoneDensity: Bones are covered from the flesh, called Muscles. When our muscles getting weak and lose the strength so the whole weight of body come on the bones mainly joints (knees and elbow).

Due to this excessive load, the minerals (which is coated on the bones) deplete. The density begins to decrease and bones get weak. This is known Low Bone Density.

Low bone mass increase the risk factor of break down of bones easily and fracture.

Swelling, joint pain, inflammation are most common symptoms of Low Bone Density.

  • Rickets: It is also known as Osteomalacia. This is happen due to the softening and weakening of bones. It mainly found in children due to deficiency of Vitamin D. Lack of vitamin D, reduce the absorption level of calcium and phosphorus these are the main cause of Rickets.

Common Disease of Cartilage:-

  • Osteoarthritis: This disease occur due to the change in Elastic Tissues which is the main protein component of cartilage.

Cartilage is the layer between two bones and this layer allow bones to slide over one another. In Osteoarthritis, cartilage starts getting damaged and breaks down. In order to the friction between two bones get increase and bones do not move smoothly and start rub together.

It can cause Swelling, Joint Pain, Stiffness and other serious disorder.

5 Ways to Build Healthy Bones and its Components:-

Building healthy bones is not only important but also it is extremely necessary. Maintain proper health of your bones can prevent you from low bone mass especially when you reach at the age of 30 years.

Cartilage is different from bones but you can’t maintain the health of cartilage without taking care of your bones. If your bones become healthy then every component which is linked with bone, it will be healthy automatically.

Here are few tips that can help you to keep your bones healthy:

  1. Eat highly rich calcium foods

Bones contain mainly two elements that are calcium and phosphorus. Calcium is the most important mineral that build the bone mass.,

Milk and other dairy products (yogurt, cheese), green leafy vegetables like spinach, okra.

  • Take sunlight at least 20 minutes

Sitting in the sunlight and specially morning sunlight, make your bone stronger and healthier.

Vitamin D plays a vital role in bone health. Lower vitamin D tends to the risk of low bone density.

About one billion people in world have vitamin D deficiency.

  • Make a habit of weight bearing exercises

Weight bearing help in building bone health. So include weight bearing exercises in your everyday tasks. This will reduce the chances of cramps, joint pain and lower bone mass.

Running, skipping and climbing; these activities make your bone stronger.

  • Consume enough protein

Consume enough protein in your regular meals. Protein is the key factor that provides the flexibility and smooth movement of joints.

Egg, dairy products (especially cottage cheese), meat, fish and other seafood, sprouts, pulses, broccoli, oats, almonds and nuts are some rich protein foods.

  • Maintain an appropriate body weight

Everyone should take care to maintain a stable and healthy body weight. It is neither overweight nor underweight. It should be balanced. Varying weight too much is also harmful for bones. Weight should be stable.

If you’re overweight, instantly reduce your body weight because the whole weight of your body is loaded on bones not muscles. Due to this excessive weight, cause the low bone mass which tend to low bone density.


Although bones and cartilage are two different types of components yet they are link with each other. Keeping your bones healthy can lead to a longer life. Because skeleton system is the part which hold the whole body together and give structure to the every part and organ of the body.