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Tendons are flexible fibrous connective tissues connecting muscles and bones. Fundamentally, they facilitate the movement of people as they act as intermediaries between muscles and bones, and are vulnerable to tearing caused by prolonged or repetitive movement of muscles, excessive muscle contraction or overstretching (Benjamin et al., 2006). They are located in areas that are characterised by bone intersection such as knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, and feet. Ligaments are connecting tissues that attach one bone to another or muscles to other structures in the body.
Even though both ligaments and tendons can withstand tension, ligaments connect bones to other bones and help in stabilizing the joints around them. They are by long and stringy collagen fibres that create bands of tough fibrous connective tissues mostly found where ends of bones intersect. They can be stretched and lengthened with caution to avoid sprains resulting from direct or indirect trauma that pre-disposition a joint (Benjamin et al., 2006). It may be easy to confuse tendons, ligaments and bursae, but these three structures represent adipose and connective tissues. Therefore, it is important to note that bursae act as an adipose tissue that protects the connective tissues whose differences have been highlighted.
Benjamin, M, Toumi, H., Ralphs, J., Bydder,G., Best, T., and Milz, S. (2006), Where tendons and ligaments meet bone: Attachment sites (‘entheses’) in relation to exercise and/or mechanical load. Journal of Anatomy, 208(4): 471–490. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2006.00540.x
Shaw, M,. Santer, M., Watson, A., and Benjamin, M. (2007). Adipose tissue at entheses: the innervation and cell composition of the retromalleolar fat pad associated with the rat Achilles tendon. Journal of Anatomy. 211(4): 436–443.
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