A type of cartilage that has a fibrous matrix and approaching fibrous connective tissue in structure
The cartilage is a connective tissue characterized by having an extracellular matrix that is abundant in chondroitin sulphate and chondrocytes as the cellular component. The cartilage has three main types: (1) elastic cartilage, (2) hyaline cartilage, and (3) fibrocartilage. They differ mainly from the fibers that are present.1
Fibrocartilage is a type of cartilage that has thick layers of larger collagen fibers in the extracellular matrix.2 This feature enables the fibrocartilage to be fibrous and rough in appearance relative to other types of cartilages. It is the only type of cartilage that has type I collagen apart from the type II collagen normally present in cartilages. The collagen fibers orient themselves into the direction where there is functional stress.3
Fibrocartilage is found in the pubis symphysis, the annulus fibrosus of intervertebral discs, menisci, and the temporomandibular joint.
1 Clark, R. (2005). Anatomy and physiology : understanding the human body. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. p. 67.
2 Mow, V. & Huiskes, R. (2005). Basic orthopaedic biomechanics & mechano-biology. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 182-183.
3 Eroschenko, V. & Fiore, M. (2008). DiFiore’s atlas of histology with functional correlations. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 71-72.