Difference between tendons and ligaments

April 7, 2022

Difference between tendons and ligaments
Share the article


The main difference between ligaments and tendons is that ligaments are referred to as connective tissues as it connects bones, while tendons connect muscles to bones. These issues involve cells that form the structural framework for connective tissues.

Tendons are strong but flexible, and ligaments are strong and elastic. Both joint tissue and bone are composed of living cells. They are essential for maintaining joints and bones. They have collagen.

Definition of Ligament

Ligaments are connective tissues connecting one bone to another bone. Ligaments are composed of a lot of strong collagen fibres. In addition, ligaments look like cords and come in various forms in the body.

Definition of Tendon

Tendon is a connective tissue that connects muscle to bone The tendon’s job is to enable movement. They are resistant to tearing but not very stretchy.

Tendons and ligaments belong to the skeletal and muscular systems. These are connective tissue that connects different parts of the body. Both tendons and ligaments are made of living cells and contain collagen fibres.

Types of Ligament

  • Articular Ligament: Different ligaments can limit movement or activity at a joint. Capsular ligaments are located around synovial joints and part of an articular capsule. Extracapsular ligaments are ligaments that join other ligaments to provide stability. The Intracapsular ligaments provide strength and range of motion beyond what the not-so-joint ligaments can offer. Finally, cruciate ligaments are two ligaments in pairs that cross each.
  • Artificial Ligament: An artificial ligament is a piece of material reinforced to replace a torn ligament. This synthetic material is made of a polymer, like polyacrylonitrile fibre or PET. The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the most common broken ligaments in the body. It is imperative for knee stability, and if someone’s ACL is broken, it results in reconstructive surgery. Many techniques can be used to replace a torn ligament.
  • Fetal remnant ligaments: Some tubular structures from the fetal period are called ligaments after they close up and change into cord-like structures.

Difference between Tendon and Ligament

S.No Tendon Ligament
1 connects the skeletal muscles to the bones. Connects bones to bones
2 Tough and inelastic structure Highly elastic and flexible
3 Connect the ends of the muscles to the bones Connects the end of the bones at joints
4 There is usually one tendon per muscle. Each joint contains many ligaments
5 Proteoglycan content is low Proteoglycan content is high
6 The colour of the tendon is white The ligament is yellow in colour
7 Fibroblasts lie in a continuous row Fibroblasts in ligament are scattered
8 The fibres are compact, and Present They are not arranged in similar bundles but compactly packed
9 No such classification or types They are classified into three types: Articular ligaments, Remnant ligaments, and Peritoneal ligaments.
10 Blood supply is poor Blood supply is just as poor

Tendon Injuries

Tendon injuries are common in people who participate in sports. 30-50% of sports injuries are caused by tendons. A common sports injury is a strain that damages a tendon or the muscle to which it connects. The injury can be excruciating. There may be a long wait for the person to recover from a severe strain.

A tendon strain can occur when you fall or twist the tendon suddenly. People who are not active may be more susceptible to injury, especially if they suddenly become active or due to inactivity and muscle weakness.

Also Read: What is Arthroscopy Surgery

Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon. Tendinitis can develop from trauma, such as a strain. People with tendonitis may notice that the area is painful, swollen, and warm to the touch.

Subluxation occurs when a tendon dislocates. When something pops or snaps, it can cause pain and weakness in the affected joint. Sometimes the pain comes and goes. Specific genetic anatomical differences increase the likelihood of subluxation, but tendon snapping can also occur due to an injury.

Ligament Injuries

A sprain is when a ligament stretches or tears. It can be a minor inconvenience or a debilitating injury that takes a while to heal. Falls can cause sprains in the knees, ankles, and wrists. These injuries can occur if a person falls into an awkward position that stretches and twists the ligaments.

Doctors classify sprains into three categories: mild, moderate, and severe.

  • Grade 1: Mild sprains in which the fibres of the ligament stretch, but the ligament does not tear.
  • Grade 2: Moderate sprains with partial ligament rupture.
  • Grade 3: sprains are severe injuries in which the ligament completely tears. This type of sprain immobilises the joint, so it is precarious and often requires medical treatment.

Also Read: Sports InjurySports Injury

Treatments for ligament and tendon injuries

The treatments for ligament and tendon injuries are very similar. They usually involve rest, ice, compression and elevate.

  • Most doctors recommend resting the injured area and avoiding putting weight on it for minor strains, sprains, inflammation, and other injuries.
  • Apply Ice to the injury to lessen swelling and pain.
  • Wrap or compress the injury to reduce swelling and help the healing process.
  • Raise the injury above heart level to relieve pain and reduce swelling.


1. What are the three differences between a tendon and a ligament?

Tendons connect skeletal muscles to the bones, whereas a ligament connects bones to bones. Tendons are inflexible and inelastic; on the other hand, ligaments are flexible and elastic. Tendons are white, but ligaments are yellow-coloured.

2. What is the difference between a ligament and tendon Class 9?

Tendons are cord-like structures that transmit muscular force to a bone. On the contrary, ligaments are the structures that connect a bone to a bone.

3. What is the difference between a tendon and ligament Class 6?

The most notable difference between ligaments and tendons is that ligaments connect bones, while tendons connect muscles to bones.

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a Doctor before taking any action based on the above shared information.



Department Of Orthopaedics

Department Of Orthopaedics

Chat with us! We'll be delighted to assist you and address all your queries.
Chat with us