Tendon and ligament are the fibrous connective tissue that composed of collagen fiber. These collagen fibers give them a high tensile strength thus both tendons and ligaments play a significant role in musculoskeletal biomechanics.

The ligament or tendon contain fibers that are collected into fiber bundles and the bundles into fascicles. These fascicles contain basic fibril or fibroblast. Fibril and fibroblast are the basic cells that produce the ligament or tendon.

Other cells in ligaments and tendons are mast cells, epithelial cells and fibrocartilage cells. They are an integral part of locomotion in all higher organisms. They vary in shape and length.

Tendons and ligaments have three regions myotendinous junction, wrap around region and entheses.

Main difference between tendons and ligaments is following

DefinitionConnect skeletal muscles to the bonesConnect bones with the bones
NatureTough and elasticElastic and strong
ColourOne tendon for each muscleMade of yellow fibrous connective tissue
ClassificationNo classificationClassified into 1. articular ligament 2. fetal remnant ligament 3. peritoneal ligament  
FibroblastFibroblasts lie in continues rowsScattered fibroblast 
FibersFibers are compact and parallel bundles  Fibers are compact but not arrange in parallel bundles 
ProteoglycanLowComparatively more
Blood supplyPoorBlood supply is just as poor


Connect skeletal muscles to the bones. A tendon is the part of the tendon muscle unit because it cannot act without the muscle acting as the mediator or interconnector between bones and muscles. Tendons have important but limited ability to stretch. The myotendinous junction is the site of connection where force is transferred from muscle to tendon.


The inflammation of the tendons occurs When the tendon gets torn due to stretch beyond the capacity for example during the sport. Tendons vary in shape and length. If the muscle has a long tendon at one end it usually has a short tendon at the other end. Tendons are not uniform in composition along their length. There is regional variation in water and collagen. When the tendon wraps the bony pully, it may contain type II collagen.

Tendon sheath

A synovial sheath that surround the tendon, allow them to glide freely and produce synovial fluid that contribute to their nutrition. Tendons can change their direction one or more times in several body region (foot and ankle) by wrapping around the bony pulleys


Ligaments are the fibrous connective tissue that acts as a connector and connect a bone with other bone. They are found at the joints to stabilize the joints that allow all kinds of motions, right from the simple to the complex one. There are approximately 900 ligaments in the human body.

The injury in ligaments is called Sprain (stretching or tearing of ligaments).

Ligaments are classified into three types

  1. Peritoneal ligaments
  2. Fetal remnant ligaments
  3. Articular ligaments

Peritoneal ligaments

Peritoneal ligaments are a double layer of peritoneum form the lining of the abdominal cavity.

Peritoneal ligaments of the stomach

lesser omentum
hepatogastric ligament
hepatoduodenal ligament
gastrosplenic ligament
greater omentum

Peritoneal ligaments of the spleen

splenorenal ligament
phrenicocolic ligament

Fetal remnant ligaments

Fetal remnant ligaments present since the time of fetus are Certain tubular structures known as ligaments.

Articular ligaments:

Articular ligaments are called true ligaments because the connect one to another one

Sana Riaz

Sana has just completed her MPhil in Microbiology. She loves reading books and the latest discoveries in sciences.

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