Perichondrium: Info, Location, Functions And Facts

The perichondrium or periosteum is a layer of connective tissue that covers the outside and inside surfaces of most of the body’s bones. It’s composed mainly of collagen and produced by four distinct cell types.

Perichondrium is mainly found on the surfaces of just about every joint and cartilage in the body.

Cartilaginous tissue consists mostly of dense irregular connective tissue and represents approximately 10% to 15% of all bones within the body.

The perichondrium is the outermost layer of cartilage that covers and protects the growing bone around a joint.

It as well as all other layers is important as they help boost the immune system as well as provide strength and support to the joint.


Since we grew up we’ve been told how vital nutrients and vitamins are for our health and there’s no exception with the junction between bones and cartilage:

They absorb calcium, like any other organ or tissue in our body, and thus depend on them for their continued survival.

Any damage to these cells is harmful; they might end up getting infected, resulting in something known as perichondritis.

Which can result from piercings (which puncture the overlying skin), insect bites (which pierce into it), or burns (which dry-out then scald).Perichondrium

The symptoms of perichondritis usually include pain, redness and swelling, although there are other symptoms that could also occur.

If the inflammation is intense, it could cause mild fever or chills because your body’s natural defenses are fighting against an infection.

Anywhere between 3 to 6 weeks later, the cholesterol deposits form at the site of the injury.

Injury to the cartilage in the ear often leads to a torn perichondrium which impairs blood circulation to the cartilage, giving it a swollen appearance likened to cauliflower. It is called cauliflower ear.Perichondrium

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It may need medical treatment, including antibiotics or minor surgical procedures if the cartilage does not soften.

Connective Tissues That Makes Up The Perichondrium

Perichondrium is a type of connective tissue. It’s composed of two layers: the outer fibrous layer and the inner chondrogenic layer.

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The outer fibrous layer protects and cushions the skin, and provides support for underlying bones, this layer also contains blood vessels.

The intercartilaginous zone is comprised of chondroblasts, a type of cell that has important functions in the formation of intermediate products such as articular cartilage and hyaline cartilage.

In both hyaline and elastic cartilage, the membrane that surrounds the heart bone is called perichondrium.

In this way it is similar to other membranes in the body such as those found inside a large organ or a cavity that also contains fluid.

The two main types of cartilage covered by a perichondrium are then known as either hyaline cartilage or costal cartilage.

White fibrocartilage however, which is part of the skeleton, blends with the surrounding skeletal tissue.

And thereby does not have a perichondrium membrane around its heart bone as it provides support for flexible joints as well as parts of our tissue matrix.


The main functions of this structure are to provide a protective barrier for the matric of cartilage beneath it, nourish the cartilage tissue with delicately perfused nutrients and play an important role in its growth.

Bones require a protective environment that will keep them from being too damaged by friction or elasticity.

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Sometimes bones can also be susceptible to expansion when certain parts of the body have been compressed.

So having a barrier around the bones is important because it will resist any pressure from outside forces.

The perichondrium contains tissues that contain blood vessels which nourish cartilage.

Blood is able to travel freely through the tissue, increasing the oxygenated blood flow to the cartilage allowing for quicker recovery time from injuries.

Also, the perichondrium region of bones is the innermost portion of the lining tissues of a bone and contains chondroblasts, or cartilage-producing cells.

The substances they secrete can cause new tissues to form and increase the thickness and strength of the existing cartilaginous tissue we already have.

Further down the line, chondroblasts mature into chondrocytes which are integral for composing cartilage.

Differences Between The Perichondrium And The Periosteum

The perichondrium is a type of tissue that covers joints and other types of cartilage, whereas the periosteum is another type of tissue that covers bones.

The periosteum promotes the development and growth of bones when it comes to skeletal formation

While when it comes down to developing and growing bone marrow (solid tissue that is found within the interior of bones), the perichondrium promotes this formation.

The perichondrium itself is a specialized layer in which the mesenchymal cells undergo chondrogenesis (the process by which cartilage is created).

And also generate osteoblasts (cells responsible for transforming other types of connective tissue and making and depositing lamellar calcium phosphate in growth).

These cells make up about half of all cellular material formed in the body.

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The periosteum in the human body is essentially the sheath covering all of our bones in order to make sure there is protection at any given moment against sustaining an injury.

The periosteum also facilitates the supply of blood and nutrients to said bone tissue when there’s room for growth at any one point.

Typically during developmental periods in children that take place before adulthood.

On the flipside, when it comes down to protecting soft tissues like muscles or other membrane-based components, this process often takes place through fascial sheaths to protect them from any form of harm entering their immediate environments.

Important Facts To Know About Perichondrium

  • The perichondrium is a mesh-like dense covering that covers the surface of most cartilage in the body.
  • The perichondrium is made up of 2 distinct layers. The outer layer (also known as the fibrillar layer) contains cells that produce collagen while the inner layer (or chondrogenic layer) contains cells called chondroblasts that secretes cartilage.
  • The main functions of the perichondrium are to protect bones from injury and disease, nourish cartilage through a large network of tiny blood vessels, and mediate the growth of cartilage in a mechanical manner.
  • Damage to the perichondrium or outer ear may lead to painful conditions like cauliflower ears (a congenital disease that affects one’s ear).
  • The perichondrium and the periosteum are both arguably essential types of connective tissue involved in a human body, which serve vastly different function. However, they both mainly serve as a means of protecting or supporting certain section of bones.

Praise Adughele

I am a practising physician and medical expert also a blogger and content creator

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