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Difference Between Ligaments and Tendons

Ligaments vs Tendons

As far as we can remember, there are 206 bones in our body which is composed of movable and non-movable bones. These bones are further reduced to special parts that aid in holding it up and help during movement.

Two of these structures that aid in movement and attachment of bone to other structures are ligaments and tendons. People do sometimes confuse these words. So for the convenience of everyone, we shall differentiate the two words.

A ligament is a fibrous structure that connects bone to bone. Tendons, on the other hand, hold bones to muscles. That is actually the main difference.

Ligaments are actually fibrous structures which are strong and lengthy which in turn hold both of the bones together well. These in turn help in the stabilization of the structures of the joints. Ligaments are elastic structures in nature. They can lengthen and be stretched making them very flexible. Before athletes, weightlifters, and dancers do their tasks, they need to do stretching to prevent injury to their bones and ligaments.

Tendons are also fibrous structures. These are also flexible and tough. They allow for the movement of the bone and muscle by acting as a mediator and interconnector of both structures. These makes the bones and muscles work in coordination as they hold both structures together well.

One of the best examples of a tendon is the Achilles tendon. This type of tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel.

Ligaments can be majorly classified into three classifications, namely; peritoneal ligaments, articular ligaments, and fetal remnant ligaments. Peritoneal ligaments form the lining of the abdominal cavity via its connective tissue structures. Articular ligaments connect bone-to-bone structures. They connect the structures to form the joints. Lastly, fetal remnant ligaments are structures that are present since being a fetus. Eventually, these structures develop into tissues like those of the ligaments.

Injuries that can occur for ligaments include; sprains and torn ligaments, while injuries associated with tendons include; avulsion, tendinitis, and tenosynovitis.


1.Ligaments connect bones to bones while tendons connect bones to muscles.
2.Ligaments are further classified into three categories while tendons do not have any classifications.
3.Both ligaments and tendons are fibrous structures which are flexible and have enough strength to hold the structures.
4.Injuries that can occur for ligaments include; sprains and torn ligaments while injuries associated with tendons include; avulsion, tendinitis, and tenosynovitis.

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