Cartilage is sort of like “soft bone,” it’s what the ears and tip of the nose are made of. It also connects the rib bones to the sternum (breast bone), and covers all the ends of our bones at the joint spaces. When cartilage in the joints wears away, or is destroyed by inflammation, bone touches bone & really hurts (that’s Osteoarthritis).
Cartilage doesn’t show on x-ray. There are rare cartilage tumors, and rare diseases in which cartilage is inflamed. Otherwise, cartilage doesn’t really have much to do with medical diagnosis.