Difference between Ligaments and Tendons Similarities | Functions

Distinguish between Tendon and Ligament 

In previous article we discussed about difference between Red and White Muscle Fibre and In this article we are going to discuss about diff between Tendons and Ligaments. To understand the difference between Ligaments and Tendons we must first know what it means, what they are?  Ligaments are soft tissue components of the musculoskeletal system which connect two bones together and stabilize different organs. ligaments generally made up of collagen fibers. The fibers that comprise the ligaments are either strong or elastic in nature synthetized by fibroblasts, which are the main type of cells in connective tissue. The fibers within ligaments are densely packed and parallel in structure due to this tissue it is called as dense regular connective tissue. Based on type of fiber present in the tissue, there are there are two types of ligaments white ligament and yellow ligaments. 

Tendons are dense fibrous Connective tissues which bind muscles to the bone. Tendons play key role in the movement by transmitting the contraction force produced by the muscles to the bone they hold. Tendons have a very complex in structure, they are composed of connective tissue and have a small number of cells and rich in extracellular matrix, similar to other connective tissue structure. Tendons are generally composed of collagen fibers they consist of fiber bundles, fascicles. Tendon structure is also known as a group of fascicles.

Difference between ligaments and tendons

Similarities Between Ligament and Tendons

  1. Ligaments and Tendon both are components of the muscular skeletal system.
  2. Both Ligaments and tendon are main types of fibrous connective tissue.
  3. Ligaments and tendons are important in the structural support and the flexibility of the body.
  4. Both Ligaments and Tendon are sturdy.
  5. They Both are made up of dense layers of collagen fibers.
  6. Applying of excessive force on Ligaments and Tendons cause injuries.

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 jointsA 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 natureThey 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 ligamentsFibroblasts 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 fibersTendons contain two types of primary cells, namely fibrocytes and fibroblasts.
They are classified into three types, namely: Articular ligaments, Remnant ligaments and Peritoneal ligamentsNo 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 jointsTendons are highly strong connective tissues in comparison to other soft tissues found in our bodies.

Also Read : Difference between mitosis and meiosis.

What are Ligaments

Ligaments are bands of elastic tissue that binds the bones together at the joints. They are key anatomical elements in joint movement by controlling the range of motion and stabilizing the joints by causing the bones to move in proper alignment. Some structures of the peritoneum, the membrane that surrounds the abdominal cavity are also called ligaments, although their function is quite different.

Ligaments are made up mainly of a protein substance called collagen. Collagen is distributed forming groups called fascicles that in turn join to form the so-called basic fibers, the base structure of ligaments. These fibers are long, flexible and resistant. Collagen is also present in human skin and other warm-blooded animals, providing elasticity and is the main component of connective tissue throughout the body.

The high elasticity and resistance of collagen fibers allows the joints to move without overstretching, preventing the bones from loosening. In order for the joint to stay within its normal range of motion, the length of the ligaments and their arrangement, generally at a junction, come into play, which maintains the movement between the articulated bones within a certain limit.

Functions of Ligaments

  1. Most Of ligaments perform important function in binding of joints, extension of the joints. These are the articular ligaments.
  2. In the elbow, for example, there are the radial collateral ligament, the ulnar collateral ligament, and the annular ligaments. Together they form a set that holds the bones and the joint gear together and allows their movement. 
  3. Other examples of ligament joints are the wrist, pelvis, ankle, or knee. In all there are usually a minimum of three, in the knee there are eight ligaments.
  4. Other ligaments such as those found at the back of many joints serve primarily to provide stability to the bone or cartilage to which it is attached. 
  5. This function of reinforcing another structure is performed by the so-called accessory ligaments. Some accessory ligaments, such as those of the TMJ (temporomandibular joint), are even relatively far from the joint.
  6. In the abdomen peritoneal ligaments are present which folds of the peritoneum, the membrane that covers most of the organs of the abdomen. 
  7. The peritoneal ligaments surround important veins, such as the hepatic portal vein, offering protection, and fix or support organs of the abdomen and some parts of the female reproductive system.

What are tendons?

Important for the human body, tendons are basically fibrous cords that come out of the muscles and attach to the bones. They are extremely resistant and are covered by a synovial membrane. Thanks to the tendons that we can transfer all the force generated in the muscles to generate bone movements. This is the principle of the levers that move our joints. Two types of Tendons: Flexor tendon – Flexor tendons are those involved in flexion or contraction such as closing the fingers.
Extensor Tendon – Extensor tendons are those involved in extension or expansion such as the action of opening the fingers of the hands.
The knee is one of the most complex structures in our body and is composed of several tendons that are: iliotibial band, hamstring tendons, quadriceps tendon and patellar tendon. These tendons are critical to the stability of the knee joints. The main tendons of the legs and feet are: tibial tendon, extensor and flexor long and short, fibular tendon, Achilles tendon, and extensor and flexor tendons of the toes
Functions of Tendons
  1. The main function of the tendons is the connection of the muscles to the bones and, thus, enables the development of movements and plays an important role in helping to balance the body. 
  2. Therefore, when the muscle contracts, the tendon transmits this force of contraction to the bone generating movement. 
  3. The stabilization of the body’s joints is also an important function of the tendons. 
  4. In case you didn’t know, there are tendons in practically every joint of the human body such as shoulders, ankles, neck, feet, arms, hands and so on.

Frequently Asked Questions on difference between Ligaments and Tendons

1. State the Difference and similarities between tendon and ligament ?

Answer: The difference between a tendon and a ligament is the function that each of them fulfills, while the similarity is their dense connective tissue structure.

Similarities Between Ligaments and Tendons

  1. Both a tendon and a ligament are made up of dense connective tissue, with a high percentage of elastic and collagen fibers, which give it high elasticity and resistance.
  2. Both structures are related to the skeletal system.
  3. Its function is necessary to guarantee the mobility of an individual.

Differences between Tendons and Ligaments

  1. A tendon is responsible for attaching the striated muscle to the bone surface, being an extension of the first and responding to its activity.
  2. Ligaments are usually bands that are responsible for joining the nearby bones together and keeping a joint stabilized and functional. 
  3. Determine the range of motion that each joint allows.

2. State the 5 majors difference between Tendon and Ligaments ?
  1. The ligament joins bone and bone, gives stability to the joint , in all joints there are ligaments that give stability. while On the other hand, the tendon joins the muscle to the bone, that anchor that when the muscle contracts needs a grip so that the muscle is not loose under the skin. All muscles have a tendon because they need a bony grip. 
  2. Ligaments are found in the joints; tendons, throughout the locomotor system. 
  3. Most common ligaments of the knee are the internal lateral ligament, external lateral ligament, anterior cruciate ligament, and posterior cruciate ligament. The most common tendons are the patellar tendon, the quadriceps tendon, the goose foot tendon, the hamstring tendon, etc.
  4. The ligament is usually injured after a trauma or blow, while the tendon is usually injured by small microtrauma, bone by repetitive movements, although a tendon rupture can also occur due to a strong trauma.
  5. Ligament pathology is usually a sprain , while the common pathology of a tendon is usually a tendinopathy .

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