5 Important difference between Tendon and Ligaments

Distinguish between Tendon and Ligament 

We often hear that people don't know the difference between tendons and ligaments. This is very often seen when people want to "strengthen the tendons", or after a workout, some say that they have "torn ligaments" Today, in this article we explain what is Tendon and Ligaments and its differences.

A tendon is a tough strip of connective tissue that connects muscles to bones.

A ligament is a dense connective tissue that connects bone to bone.

Difference between Ligaments and Tendon 

Ligaments Tendons
Ligament are the tough fibrous band of connective tissue that serves to support the internal organs and hold bones together in proper articulation at the joints A tendon is a fibrous connective tissue which attaches muscle to bone. Tendons may also attach muscles to structures such as the eyeball. A tendon serves to move the bone or structure
They are strong and elastic in nature They are tough and inelastic in nature.
They connect bones together at joints. They connect the end of muscles to the bone.
In comparison, ligaments have a poor blood supply. Tendons have a heavy blood supply.
They are not arranged in parallel bundles but are compactly packed. The fibres are compact and present in parallel bundles
There is a scattering of fibroblasts in ligaments Fibroblasts exist in continuous rows in tendons.
Its proteoglycan content is comparatively more than that in tendons. Its proteoglycan content is also lesser than that in ligaments.
It has comparatively lesser collagen content. It has comparatively more collagen content
Ligaments are of two kinds. One is a white ligament, which has collagen fibers in an ample amount. The other is the yellow ligament, which is found to be quite rich in elastic fibers Tendons contain two types of primary cells, namely fibrocytes and fibroblasts.
They are classified into three types, namely: Articular ligaments, Remnant ligaments and Peritoneal ligaments No such Classification
in ligaments, the fibers are found to be packed compactly. However, fibers bundles arranged in a parallel manner can’t be found here. Parallel bundles of fibers, which are compact, found to be present in tendons.
Excessive pressure may cause torn ligaments and sprains. Excessive pressure may cause tendinitis, tenosynovitis, and avulsion.
Example- The anterior cruciate ligament known as ACL attaches the thigh bone to the shinbone, which helps in stabilizing the knee joint. Example- the Achilles tendon that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Achilles is the largest tendon in our body.
Ligaments are present in a human body at positions like elbows, knees, ankles, shoulders, and various other joints Tendons are highly strong connective tissues in comparison to other soft tissues found in our bodies.

What is Tendon?

  • A tendon is a tough strip of connective tissue that connects muscles to bones.
  • Tendons work with muscles to produce motion.
  • Tendons are made up of collagen.
  • A normal healthy tendon is mostly composed of parallel, compact collagen. About 30% of the total mass of the tendon is water, the rest of the mass is composed of about 86% collagen, 2% elastic fibers, 1-5% proteoglycans and 0.2% inorganic components such as copper, manganese and calcium. 
  • The collagen portion is composed of 97-98% type I collagen, with small amounts of other types of collagen.
  • The length of the tendon varies from person to person. The length of the tendon affects how the muscle is built.
  • Tendons have traditionally been thought of as just connecting muscles to bones, and their function is just to transmit force. 
  • Tendon also assist in regulating strength during movement, providing additional stability. 
  • It also enables the tendon to store and restore energy efficiently.
  • Tendons are subject to many types of injuries. Trauma, such as cuts and blunt blows, can cause tendons to rupture or swell. 
  • These types of injuries often lead to tendon inflammation, or tendon degeneration and weakening, causing pain or dysfunction.
  • Common tendon diseases associated with sports injuries often include: patellar tendinitis, Achilles tendinitis, biceps tendonitis, peroneal tendonitis, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow etc.

What are Ligaments?

  • A ligament is a dense connective tissue that connects bone to bone.
  • The main task of the ligaments is to hold the bones in the joint and prevent dislocations.
  • Damage to the ligaments leads to a violation of these functions, the instability of the joints develops, and displacement is possible.
  • There are a large number of nerve endings in the ligaments, so sprains are always accompanied by severe pain.
  • The ligaments cannot perform any actions, since they have no motor function

Frequently Asked Questions on Tendons and Ligaments

1. What are ligaments?
Answer: ligament is a strong elastic tissue that does not stretch easily and is mainly composed of collagen . Many collagen fibers are arranged in a fibrous form to form a ligament . This structure is very similar to muscle fibers bundled together to form a muscle .

2. How long does it take for a tendon to heal?
Answer: A tendon is the beginning and end of a muscle. Damaged tendons prevent muscles from working properly, making it difficult to move joints. Tendon injuries generally take 3 weeks to recover when treated conservatively . A little more time is needed when there is muscle rupture.

3. What are the characteristics of tendons?
Answer: Tendons are very tolerant of high tension, capable of withstanding about 0.5 tons of force per square centimeter of cross-section, but are inelastic. Tendon tissue is mainly composed of collagen fibers ( also called tendon fibers), which are strongly connected to each other, and tendon cells exist between the fibers. Tendon tissue has few blood vessels and lymph vessels, and small tendons have no blood vessels inside.

4. How are ligament injuries treated?
Answer: There are two types of treatment: surgical therapy and conservative therapy, which involves rehabilitation using immobilization and braces without surgery. Based on the condition of the injury, such as whether or not the person wants to be involved in competitive sports in the future, and whether or not the person is doing a job that puts a strain on the leg, the patient's wishes are respected and the treatment method is selected.

5. What is Tendon Rupture?
Answer: A tendon is a strong connective tissue at the end of a muscle that is firmly attached to the bone. Muscles are elastic, but tendons are not. Therefore, if the tendon is pulled (pulled) with excessive force, the tendon may be severed. This is a "tendon rupture". It can occur anywhere on the body and is commonly seen on the hands and arms. In the case of the elderly, shoulder rotator cuff tears are common, although they tend to be overlooked. Here, we briefly explain the Achilles tendon rupture, which is overwhelmingly common among tendon ruptures.

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