MCAT Content / Skeletal System / Ligaments Tendons

Ligaments, tendons

Topic: Skeletal System

Ligaments and tendons are connective tissues that stabilize joint and anchor muscle, respectively.

Ligaments connect the ends of bones to form a joint. These help to limit joint dislocation and restrict improper hyperextension and hyperflexion. Also made of fibrous tissue are bursae. These provide cushions between bones and tendons and/or muscles around a joint.

A tendon is a tough, flexible band made of fibrous connective tissue, and functions to connect muscle to bone.


Key Points

• Ligaments hold bones together to stabilize joints.

• Tendons attach muscle to bone to anchor muscle.


Key Terms

ligament: a connective tissue that joins two bones

tendon: a fibrous connective tissue that connects a bone to a muscle

hyperextension: when a joint is straightened beyond its normal range of motion

hyperflexion: the movement of a muscle beyond its normal limit

bursae: a small fluid-filled sac lined by a synovial membrane which provides a cushion between bones and tendons



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