Difference Between Ligament and Tendon

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Ligament and Tendon

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The Tendons or Ligaments control every small movement in the body. These connective tissues are responsible for enabling locomotion within the human body. They are composed of a large number of collagen fibres. Tendon acts as a mediator, connecting the muscle's end to a bone.

It takes longer to heal injuries in the tendon or ligament. These connective tissues lack blood vessels, which means that the nutrients required to heal an injury can't reach the area of damage.

Tendon vs Ligament

Tendon and Ligament is different in that the tendon connects a bone to a skeletal muscle. The ligament is responsible for only the joining of two bones. While tendon is rigid and inelastic, ligaments have flexibility and elasticity. Both tendons and ligaments are made up of living cells.

Both of these fall under the Dense Granular Connective tissues category. These are essential for the proper functioning of the muscular and skeletal systems.

Difference Between Tendon and Ligament in Tabular Form

Parameter for Comparison Tendon Ligament
Definition Tendons is responsible for connecting muscles and bones. Ligaments are connective tissues that form a link between bones.
Nature Tendons in nature aren't elastic or strong. Ligaments allow a bone to move by being stronger and more elastic.
Form of Fibres Tendons contains parallel bundles of fibres that are compact. The fibres in ligaments are compactly packed. But, you won't find fibre bundles that are arranged in parallel here.
Classification Tendons have been removed from the classification. Ligaments can be divided into three types: articular, fetal, and peritoneal.
Composition Connective tissue of white fibrous fibre Connective tissue with yellow fibrous material

What is Tendon?

The Tendon, a type of connective tissue, is responsible for linking muscles to other parts of the body, most commonly bones. The tendons transmit the mechanical force of muscles to the bones. Tendons have a stronger connective tissue than any other soft tissue in the body. Tendon fibres are strong because of their unique composition and parallel orientation. Tendons are made up of dense fibrous connective tissue. These tissues are made up of collagen fibres. Collagen fibrils are joined together to form primary collagen fibres. These fibres are the basic unit of a tendon.

These subfamilies of primary collagen fibres are bundled together to form subfamilies, which then bundle up again to create fascicles. These fascicles form tertiary fibre bundles. These tertiary fibre bundles are gathered together to form a tendon. Two types of primary cells are found in the tendons: fibrocytes and fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are also known as tenoblasts and are immature spindle-shaped cells.

Fibrocytes also go by the name tenocytes. They also have a spindle-shaped shape.

What is Ligament?

The ligament is a connective tissue that binds two bones together. It is strong and elastic by nature. This tissue supports your joints and restricts their movement. Ligaments are found in various positions on the body, including elbows, knees and ankles. Your joints will become unstable if the ligaments are damaged.

The healing process for a ligament injury can take a long time because there are so few blood vessels in the ligaments and tendons. The lack of blood vessels means that nutrients and oxygen required for healing are not available at the injury site. Physical therapy and surgery are sometimes options to fix the damage.

There are two types of Ligaments. The white ligament has a lot of collagen fibres. The yellow ligament is rich in elastic fibres. Even though they are tough, the yellow ligaments provide elasticity.

The sprain is another term you might have heard. An overstretched ligament can cause this.

Ligaments vs Tendons: Summary

  • Our body is made up of both movable and non-movable bones. There are 206 bones. These bones can be further reduced to help with movement and support it.
  • Ligaments and tendons are two of the structures that help bone attach to other structures. These words are sometimes misunderstood. We will distinguish the words for everyone's convenience.
  • A ligament is a fibrous connection between bone and bone. Tendons hold bones and muscles together. This is the real difference.
  • Ligaments are fibrous structures that are strong and long and hold the bones together. These structures help stabilize the joint structures. Ligaments are elastic structures found in nature. Ligaments can be lengthened and stretched, making them flexible. Stretching is essential to avoid injury to the bones and ligaments of athletes, weightlifters, or dancers.
  • Tendons can also be fibrous. They are flexible and strong. They facilitate the movement of bone and muscle, acting as interconnectors and mediators between the two structures. They are able to coordinate the muscles and bones by holding both structures together.
  • The Achilles tendon is one of the most well-known tendon types. This tendon connects to the heel and calf muscles.
  • Ligaments can be divided into three major categories: peritoneal, articular, and fetal remainder ligaments. The peritoneal ligaments are the connective tissue structures that form the lining for the abdominal cavity. Articular ligaments connect bone-to-bone structures. They link the structures that make up the joints. Finally, fetal residual ligaments are structures that have been present since the fetus. These structures eventually become tissues similar to the ligaments.
  • Ligament injuries include sprains or torn ligaments. Tendon injuries include tendinitis and avulsion.

How Do Tendons and Ligaments Work?


Because they transfer force from the bone to the muscle, the important role of the tendon is vital in the body's mobility. Tendons are found all over the body, from the head down to the neck to the feet. Tendons can exert up to five times the force of our body weight.

Tendonitis can be caused by repetitive movement of body parts like our hands, knees, ankles and shoulders. Tendonitis can be caused by sudden force or ruptured tendon fibres. This problem can also be caused by poor posture, improper exercising, or golfing.


Ligaments are specialised connective tissue with its own biomechanical characteristics. The majority of ligaments are made up of collagen fibres. These fibres are strong and flexible and resist pulling or compressing forces.

Collagen fibres are often grouped together in parallel bundles to increase their strength. The periosteum is attached to collagen bundles. It covers all bones. A ligament undergoes significant changes in its structure and physiology when it is injured. This causes scar tissue to form that is biomechanically and physiologically inferior to the replacement tissue.


Tendonitis refers to inflammation of the tendon. Tendinitis can result from repetitive motion, overuse or trauma such as a sprain. It doesn't matter where the tendon is located, it can be red, tender, inflamed or painful. In extreme cases, the tendon may rupture and require surgery. Tendon ruptures are common in the:

  • Achilles tendon (between calf muscle & heel of the foot).
  • Knees
  • Arms: Biceps
  • Quadriceps (thigh, or front of upper leg)

Ligament Tear

You may feel something breaking in your ankle, knee, wrist, wrist or back if you have a ligament injury. The area that was injured may swell immediately and feel painful. You may feel the joint unstable or wobbly if you have an anterior cruciate ligament tear (ACL). ACL tears are something you may have heard of, especially if your sport involves sports. ACL tears are quite common, unfortunately.

Ligament injuries can be categorized according to their severity. Grade 1 refers to a mild sprain. Grade 2 is a partial tear and moderate sprain. Grade 3 refers to a severe ligament injury and ligament tear. To determine the extent of an injury, Dr. Nolan recommends that you consult with him immediately after you have been injured.

Tendons and Ligaments: Some Things to Keep in Mind

  • Both tendons and ligaments are made of fibrous connective tissues.
  • Ligaments are cross-shaped bands which link bones and joints.
  • Tendons are the connective tissue in your body that connects bone to muscle.
  • Tissues like tendons and ligaments consist mainly of 70% water, 20% collagen and 2% pulverized substance.
  • Ligaments and tendons are densely granular connective tissue that anchor and connect diverse organs. They are made up of living cells and contain a lot of collagen fibres.
  • Tendons are light in colour, while Ligaments are dark in colour.

Ques: How To Distinguish Between Tendon And Ligament?

Ans: Ligaments connect one bone to another bone, while the tendon connects muscles to the bones.

Question: How Many Types Are There Of Joints In The Body? Name Them.

Ans: Our body has five types of joints:

  1. Socket and ball joints
  2. Fixed joints
  3. Gliding joints
  4. Pivotal joints
  5. Hinge joints

Ques: What Important Organ Is Completely Protected Within The Skull Bones?

Ans: The skull's bones are connected with strong joints. They create a structure that is similar to a box. They are difficult to break. The skull's bones protect the brain, which is the most important organ in our bodies. The brain.

Ques: What Are Dislocation And Fracture Of Bone? What Are The Best Precautions To Take If One Has A Fracture?

Ans: A sudden movement could cause injury to the skeleton. Dislocation or fracture is the name given to an injury to the skeleton. A dislocation occurs when the bones around the joints are moved out of their normal positions. Sometimes, the ligaments that connect bones may be torn or injured, causing pain and swelling.

A fracture is a crack in the bone. A fracture can be as simple as a small crack, or it could result in a severe break in one or several joints. It can also cause pain and swelling.

Both fractures and dislocations should be treated immediately by a doctor.

  • Never attempt to reset the bone.
  • Place the injected part in a comfortable place.
  • Avoid making jerks and movements in the injured area.

Ques: Write Down The Function Of Bone And Cartilage, Ligament, Tendon, And Ligament.

Ans: Bone: Bones are the building blocks of the body. They protect the most vital organs, such as the brain, heart, and lungs.

Cartilage: Cartilage provides support, frictionless movement, and flexibility to different body parts.

Ligament: Ligaments connect one bone to the other bone and control the movement of joints.

Tendon: Tendon connects bone to muscle and allows the movement of body parts.

Main Difference Between Ligament and Tendon in Points

  • Tendons connect bones to muscles. They can be found at the end of any muscle connecting it to any bone.
    Ligaments are responsible to join two bones together in the body.
  • Tendons are extremely tough and elastic in nature. Ligaments are durable and have elasticity.
  • Tendon fibres are found in parallel bundles which are compact in nature. Ligaments, however, have fibres packed in a compact way but no parallel orientation.
  • Tendons can't be divided into any subcategory. However, ligaments can be classified in three forms: fetal remnant ligaments (articular ligaments), peritoneal ligaments (peritoneal ligaments), and articular ligaments (articular ligaments).
  • Tendons are made of white fibrous connective tissue. But ligaments are the ones that are made of yellow fibrous connective tissue.


Ligaments and tendons are two of the most important structures in the human body. They are responsible for locomotion. Ligaments connect one bone to another bone while muscles are connected to the bones by Tendons. Both come under Dense Granular Connective Tissues. Both tissues have a smaller number of blood vessels than the other tissue, which means that they take longer to recover from an injury or tear.

Tendons have a reputation for being flexible and strong. Tendonitis is a condition where a tendon becomes torn from overstretching. This condition causes the affected area to swell. Temporarily, a muscle is unable to work while it is being repaired. The joints are stabilized by ligaments. An injury can also be caused by the overstretching ligaments. A sprain can occur when a ligament is torn. Because ligaments are connected to joints, tears of ligaments can be more severe and painful than tendon tears. With the right amount of rest, the sprain will usually heal on its own. Sometimes, however, it can be so severe that surgery may be necessary to restore its functionality.



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"Difference Between Ligament and Tendon." Diffzy.com, 2023. Tue. 06 Jun. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-ligament-and-tendon-772>.

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