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Encyclopedia > Ligaments


A ligament is a short band of tough fibrous connective tissue composed mainly of long, stringy collagen molecules. Ligaments connect bones to other bones in joints. (They do not connect muscles to bones; that is the function of tendons.) Some ligaments limit the mobility of articulations, or prevent certain movements altogether.


Capsular ligaments are part of the articular capsule that surrounds synovial joints. They act as mechanical reinforments. Extra-capsular ligaments join bones together.


Ligaments are slightly elastic; under tension, they gradually lengthen. This is one reason why dislocated joints must be set as quickly as possible: if the ligaments lengthen too much, then the joint will be weakened, and more prone to future dislocations. Athletes, gymnasts and martial artists perform stretching exercises to lengthen their ligaments, making their joints more supple.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Medial Collateral Ligament Sprain -- Part I (735 words)
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the most frequently injured ligament of the knee.
Structurally, the MCL is more firmly attached to the knee than the lateral collateral ligament and most injuries usually occur on the more exposed lateral side, which exerts most of the stress onto the medial side.
The MCL is made up of a superficial ligament which is now called by itself the tibial collateral ligament which originates from the medial epicondyle of the femur, just below the adductor tubercle, and inserts on the medial tibia three to four inches below the joint line, posterior and deep to the pes anserinus.
Ligament and Tendon Laxities (959 words)
A ligament connects two bones and is involved in the stability of the joint.
Since tendons move the joints and ligaments stabilize the joints, it is primarily these soft tissue structures that are involved.
The ligaments and tendons produced after Prolotherapy, appear much the same as normal tissues, except that they are thicker, stronger, and contain fibers of varying thickness, testifying to the new and ongoing creation of collagen tissue.
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