Fibrocartilage

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Fibrocartilage
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White fibrocartilage from an intervertebral fibrocartilage.
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Symphysis pubis exposed by a coronal section. (Pubic symphysis visible at center left.)
Gray's p.281
Code TH H2.00.03.5.00017

White fibrocartilage consists of a mixture of white fibrous tissue and cartilaginous tissue in various proportions. It owes its flexibility and toughness to the former of these constituents, and its elasticity to the latter. It is the only type of cartilage that contains type I collagen in addition to the normal type II.

Fibrocartilage is found in the pubic symphysis, the anulus fibrosus of intervertebral discs, menisci, and the TMJ. During labor, relaxin loosens the pubic symphysis to aid in delivery, but this can lead to later joint problems.

Formation as a repair mechanism[edit]

If hyaline cartilage is torn all the way down to the bone, the blood supply from inside the bone is sometimes enough to start some healing inside the lesion. In cases like this, the body will form a scar in the area using a special type of cartilage called fibrocartilage. Fibrocartilage is a tough, dense, fibrous material that helps fill in the torn part of the cartilage; however, it is not an ideal replacement for the smooth, glassy articular cartilage that normally covers the surface of joints.

Pathology[edit]

Micrograph showing a fragment of an intervertebral disc demonstrating degenerative fibrocartilage with loss of nuclei and nests of chondrocytes, as seen in degenerative disc disease. HPS stain.

Degeneration of fibrocartilage is seen in degenerative disc disease.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.