Tendons attach or support the joints between muscles and bones, while ligaments support the joints between bones. Tendons are strong and non-flexible, whereas ligaments are flexible and elastic. Both being the part of the musculoskeletal system, play the vital role in the joints and bones and thus responsible for all kinds of movements in the body.
As we all know that the human body consists of 206 bones, these bones are composed of movable and non-movable joints of the bones. These bones are further reduced to many parts to perform many special functions like moving the hands, legs, sitting, walking, etc. Two of these important parts that perform the important part in the body movement are tendons and ligaments.
The movement of the body parts is only possible because of the presence of these structures only. Although the structure of the two is not yet well understood to notice the difference between them. But there function and working are different through which we may understand the difference between them.
Content: Tendons and Ligaments
|Basis for Comparison||Tendons||Ligaments|
|Definition||Tendon connects muscles to bone, and are present at the end of skeletal muscles. These are the fibrous connective tissue non-elastic.||Ligaments connect one bone to another bone and so are found in joints. These are also the kind of connective tissue which is stronger and flexible and helps in movements of the bones.
|Nature||Tendons are inelastic and tough.||Ligaments are elastic and strong.|
|Fibres||Fibres are present as compact parallel bundles.||Fibres are compactly packed and not arranged in parallel bundles.|
|Fibroblasts||In tendon, fibroblasts lie in continuous rows.||In ligaments, fibroblasts are scattered.|
|Formed of||Tendons are made of white fibrous connective tissue.||Ligaments are made of yellow fibrous connective tissue.|
|It joins||Tendons connect end of the muscles to any place of the bone.||It connects bones to bones at a joints.|
|Classification||No classification.||They are divided into three categories-peritoneal ligaments, fetal remnant ligaments, and articular ligaments.|
Definition of Tendons
Tendons are the fibrous connective tissue, made to connect parts of the body. The tissue shows flexibility and is tough. The tendons connect the end part of the muscles to any part of the bone and thus acting as the mediator or interconnector between these structures. When tendon get torn due to stretch beyond the capacity it is called as tendonitis.
This result in the inflammation of the part where the tendons got damage, the tendonitis result in the soreness, swelling, as well temporary loss of function of the muscles.
Definition of Ligaments
Ligaments are also kind of the connective tissue, designed to connect bones, these are tougher and more elastic. Ligaments work as connectors, which joins the ends of bones at the joints. These joints allow all kind of motions, right from the simple to the complex one.
Ligaments are of various shapes and sizes which provide strength and support, stabilize the joints. When the ligament is stretched beyond the limits, they also suffer the damage and faces tearing of the tissue. Ligament tearing is much more serious than that of the tendon as it weakens the joints between the bones.The main function of the ligament is to connect one bone to another bone at the joints, which help in the stabilization of the joints of the body. Ligament injuries are caused by strains or sudden forces exerted on ligaments, causing rupture. Ligaments are categorized as; peritoneal ligaments, fetal remnant ligaments, and articular ligaments. Peritoneal ligaments, through the connective tissue structure, forms the lining of the abdominal cavity. Fetal remnant ligaments are present since the time of a fetus. Articular ligaments connect one bone to another.
Key Difference Between Tendons and Ligaments
Following are the key differences between tendons and the ligaments:
- Tendon connects muscles to bone, and are present at the end of skeletal muscles and are made of white fibrous connective tissue, whereas ligaments connect one bone to another bone, so found in joints and are made of yellow fibrous connective tissues.
- Structurally tendons are inelastic and tough, but ligaments are elastic and strong.
- In tendons, fibers are present as compact parallel bundles, whereas in ligaments fibers are compactly packed and not arranged in parallel bundles. Even the fibroblast in tendons are in continuous row form, but in ligaments, tendons are scattered.
- Ligaments are divided into three categories-peritoneal ligaments, fetal remnant ligaments, and articular ligaments, but there is no such classification of the tendons
In this article, we discussed the two main structure of the body, which supports every kind of movement in the body. Tendons and ligaments are the two structure which differs structurally and functionally and plays a significant role of movements within the joints in the vertebrates.