The difference between Bone and Cartilage

The very basic difference between Bone and Cartilage is such that Bone is a solid body organ that makes up and supports the vertebral skeleton while Cartilage is padding like rubber that covers and protects the long bone ends from external and internal shocks.

compare and contrast bone and cartilage

What they actually are?

The human body possesses 11 types of organ systems. The skeletal system is one of the organ systems. Bone & cartilage are two components that are different from each other but they work mutually in actual. They are like coworkers in such a way that bone provides support to the whole skeletal system while cartilage provides safety to the bone ends. Both have their own importance in the system and we cannot deny the importance of any of them.

What is the difference between bone and cartilage

Bone Cartilage
A Bone is mostly of a dense, tough, and non-flexible nature in normal. A Cartilage is thin and flexible
A bone is made up of collagen fibers and calcium phosphates Cartilage is made up of specialized cells called chondrocytes
Provides support to the organism’s body and protects from mechanical damages Provides safety to the bone ends and reduce friction in the joints
Bone is vascularized and has calcified matrix which makes it strong Cartilage is avascular, flexible and resistant to compressive forces
Bone is readily repaired by the body Cartilage is not readily repaired by the body
There is proper nutrients supply through the blood to bone supply due to presence of blood vessels (vascularity) There is no nutrients supply to cartilage through due to the absence of blood vessels (avascularity)
Produce blood cells in the body Do not produce blood cells
Almost all types of hyperbolic and axial skeletons possess bone. It is mostly found in rib-cage, joints, nose, ear, intervertebral discs, & air-tubes.
Bones are of two types compressed and spongy which further classified into long, short, flat and irregular bones, sesamoid and sutural Cartilages are of three types elastic cartilage, fibrocartilage, and Hellenic cartilage
Bone marrow is present inside and also there are stem cells in bone marrow There is no bone marrow or similar structure
Two-way growth pattern One-way growth pattern

also read: The difference between blood and lymph

What happened if there is no bone in the body? If we consider our body without bones, then it looks like gel or shapeless. Further, if we talk about a body without bones then there are countless difficulties that an organism can face. If there are no bones, there is no bone marrow, when there is no bone marrow there is no blood cell formation, when there are no blood cells there is no blood formation. Having no bones inside an organism can dig into problems that we cannot even imagine.

cartilage vs bone

Difference between Bone and Cartilage

Difference between Bone and Cartilage in detail:

What is bone?

What is bone: Although the bone is strong, it is a tissue that constantly changes and performs many functions. Bones are considered as solid structures inside the body act as a shield to guard inner fragile organs which is also a place where bone marrow exists and blood cells are formed.

There is a continuous process going in bones called remodeling which includes the replacement of old bone tissues with new and every bone experience this to get reshape  In order to maintain bone density and strength, the body needs an adequate amount of calcium and other minerals and vitamin D.

An appropriate amount of hormones is produced such as growth hormone, thyroid hormone, testosterone, estrogen, and calcitonin.

Types of Bones:

Two main Types of Bones exist based on the types of tissue in the human anatomy.

  1. Compact Bone.
  2. Spongy Bone.

Composition of bones:

  • Compact Bone tissue is made up of osteons units which are cylindrical structures that contain living osteocytes and mineral matrix. Each osteon possesses lamellae.
  • Spongy Bone is a makeup of osteocytes that sits in tiny cavities known as lacunae.  Lacunae & osteocytes housed in bone together along with bone marrow.

What is the difference between cartilage and bone

What is cartilage?

What is Cartilage is a very common question that often confuses people. It is a cushion of protection that lies between the bones to absorb the pressure/shock when joint expose to movement. It consists of protein bundles called collagen that give it the rigid network structure.

This network is filled with materials that carry water inside, & they are like sponges.

Once the cartilage is expos to a weight/pressure that is placed on it, the water squeezes out of this network, and when the Pressure returns water to its place, as well as chondrocytes, which work to produce large amounts of tissue outside the cell, which is a composition of collagen., And Proteoglycan, and elastic fibers, it is worth noting that the cartilage does not contain blood vessels or nerves and may form some parts of the body such as the flexible cartilage that forms the outer parts of the Ear, throat (larynx). Cartilage is connective tissue, and despite its hard and elastic nature, it is easy to damage.

Types of cartilage:

There are three types of cartilage that exist in the human body on the basis of collagen fibers.

  1. Elastic-Cartilage
  2. Fibrous-Cartilage
  3. Hyaline-Cartilage

Elastic cartilage:

Elastic Cartilage is one of the types of cartilages that possess elastic fibers in addition to collagen. Its name is due to the elasticity it possesses on it. Elastic cartilage includes a matrix of yellowish fibers that provides the ability to stretch. The human outer ear and epiglottis is composed of elastic cartilage.


Elastic Cartilage is the makeup of type-!! chondroitin-sulfate & collagen. It almost resembles the hyaline type of cartilage. The difference only lies in the yellow color fibers that have elasticity in them.


The elastic cartilage function is to serve as a shock absorber. It changes its shape in response to bend, pressure, or tension. If it experiences pressure, it bends in the same direction of the pressure, in this way it provides very smart support to the organs and saves from getting any damage.


Fibrocartilage is the tough type of cartilage that is quite strong as compared to other types of cartilage. Fibrocartilage is found in the ligaments, tendons, and intervertebral disks. This type consists of mannered fibrous white tissues. It is the only type that is comprised of type-I in addition to type-II collagen.


FibroCartilage is primarily composed of collagen fiber type-I in addition to type-II collagen. it is present in the sections like pubic symphysis, intervertebral discs, and the annulus fibrosus.


It also serves as a shock absorber between the spine and vertebrae. It makes compact joints between bones despite allows movement at a specific degree of movement. In cavities like ball & socket, shoulder, and hip joints it deepens the socket to make less possible dislocation.

Hyaline Cartilage:

Hyaline cartilage is also a cartilage type that exists in the ears, nose, larynx, and ribs and tracheae of the human body. It is the most abundant type of cartilage in the human anatomy. It has a clear blue-greyish glass-like structure and is found on many joint surfaces.


Hyaline Cartilage composition is comprised of collagen type-II with the chondroitin-sulfate contribution.


Function of hyaline cartilage is to provide flexibility and support to many different parts of the body. As it is found in ears, nose, larynx, and ribs and teachers, it provides them to retain their shape and flexibility. hyaline cartilage is present on the articular bone, so it is also called as articular cartilage.

It also serves as a shock absorber and anti-friction between the bone joints.

What happened if there is no cartilage between the bone in the body?

Considering the body without cartilage to be very painful: just imagine that if there is no cartilage, there will be a lot of friction between the joints that cause pain at all times

One cannot move a little until the cartilage is absent in the body.

If there is no cartilage, the bones can slide on top of each other, which can make the body shapeless.

Even if there is a slight problem with the cartilage, there is unbearable pain.

Now you can imagine how important it is in the bodies of living beings, whether it is a human being or any other organism.

What are tendons and ligaments and where they are found?

What are tendons and ligaments is a very common question that arose after reading much about bone and cartilage. Tendons and ligaments, both are parts of the skeletal system. These are also types of connective tissues that are made of fibrous cartilage.

What are tendons and ligaments
tendons and ligaments

Tendons are found at the bone ends that serve to connect bone with muscle. Ligaments possess criss-cross patterns that are present between bone ends packed inside the cartilage and serve to connect bone with bone as You can notice in the picture.


After going through the above article we can conclude that how important roles bone and cartilage play residing in the human body, or any organism’s body and how important they are in retaining or maintaining an organism’s body into its normal shape.


How is cartilage similar to bone ?

Both are a cell composition in which the extracellular matrx is comprised of cells embedded inside, only this way they both can be similar.

Is cartilage avascular?

Yes, it is avascular and there is no proper blood supply to it, that may be the reason why old age people don’t get heal their joint pains.

How does fibrocartilage grow ?

Including fibrocartilage other types of cartilages grow in two ways of growth which are interstitial growth, and chondrocyte specific growth. cartilages only grow from birth to maturity and don’t grow properly if they get damaged after the mature age due to any external strike because there is no blood supply in cartilages.

What substances make bone so hard?

Bones are vascular so they get enough nutrients in them from the blood, also the material that is the makeup of the bone is calcium phosphate and collagen protein that make bones a harder body organ.

What is the function of cartilage?

There are various functions of cartilage to protect bone ends, connect two bone ends, and prevent the bones from getting damaged after the experience of external shock or press. Cartilage also serves to reduce friction that is created during bone movements.

What do tendons do?

As cartilage connects two bones. Similarly, the tendon is a connective tissue that connects a muscle with bone as you can see in the picture.

What is the name of the bone that extends from the shoulder to the elbow?

The humerus is the bone that extends from the shoulder to the elbow.

What is bone resorption?

It is a process that includes the breakdown of bone tissue because of osteoclasts resulting in the transfusion of bone calcium to the bloodstream.

What is the smallest bone in the body?

Stapes is considered the smallest bone in the human anatomy and this bone is residing in the middle ear.

What type of tissue is bone?

Bone is a connective tissue type that is dense and provides tons of function in the body.

What is the strongest bone in your body?

A femur is considered the strongest bone present in the human body.

What is a bone bruise?

A bone bruise is a traumatic injury condition in which the body fluids and blood start retaining and building up around the injured bone part.

What is the longest bone in the body?

The femur is considered the longest bone present in the human anatomy. It is also considered as the strongest bone.

What is the histology of compact and spongy bone?

Compact bone is the outer bone part that is dense, hard, and stringer as compared to spongy bone which is the inner bone part and is less dense and lighter as compared to the compact bone.

What is articular cartilage?

Articular cartilage is a smooth specialized form of cartilage that connects bone joints and save the bone joints from friction. Hyaline cartilage can be considered as articular cartilage.

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