Cartilage, tendons and ligaments are important parts of bone joints. A bone joint is the part of the body where 2 or more bones meet.
Cartilage is a bony connective tissue that is elastic and soft. Cartilage is made up of cells called chondrocytes. These cells produce a special types of proteins that stick together to form a gel-like matrix. The proteins of cartilage can absorb and retain water, which is the reason for them being flexible, yet hold shape. Cartilages do not have blood vessels or nerves.
Function of cartilage depends on the type and the location in the body. Organs like nostrils and ears that are flexible have cartilage instead of bones.
There are three main types of cartilage – Hyaline, elastic and fibrocartilage – each having a different structure and function.
It is made up of elastin protein fibers and is very flexible.
It is tough yet flexible cartilage and is mainly composed of collagen.
that attach muscles to other body parts, especially bones. One end of the tendon is connected to muscle fibers and the other to the bones. Tendons are very strong and elastic to transmit the mechanical force of the muscle contraction to the bones, thus facilitating the movements of bones along with the muscle movements.
Tendons may attach muscles to other structures such as eyeballs which require movement.
Ligaments are very tough band of connective tissues that hold the bones together at the right positions in the joints. Ligaments also support the internal organs. Among other joints, ligaments are present in the body at the head and neck areas, thorax or chest, shoulders, elbows, wrist, pelvis, knees and ankles.