What do the bands connect


Synonyms: ligament, ligament
English: ligament

1 definition

A tape or. Ligament is a coarse, fiber-rich, stretchable cord of connective tissue that stretches between two parts of the body and fixes them in place.

In a narrower sense, the term is mainly used for the fiber connections between skeletal elements, i.e. bones. However, ligaments in the broader sense also serve to fasten the internal organs.

2 background

Ligaments are not distinct anatomical structures, but local fiber proliferation that continues with a smooth transition into the surrounding connective tissue. If they run as part of a joint capsule, they are therefore often difficult to differentiate during preparation.

3 nomenclature

The anatomical nomenclature of the ligaments is not strictly systematic. Ligaments are usually named according to their course (e.g. ligamentum calcaneocuboideum, ligamentum interspinale), but also according to their shape (e.g. ligamentum bifurcatum, ligamentum annulare radii), rarely even according to their color (e.g. ligamentum flavum).

Ligaments running laterally to a joint are indicated by the addition "collaterale", e.g. the ligamentum collaterale fibulare or the ligamentum collaterale carpi ulnare.

Abbreviations that deviate from this have become established in the clinical context. They can be derived from German, Latin or English names. For example, the anterior cruciate ligament is named with the abbreviations "ACL" ("anterior cruciate ligament"), "VKB" ("anterior cruciate ligament") or "LCA" ("Ligamentum cruciatum anterior").

4 histology

Ligaments, like fasciae and tendons, mainly consist of tight, parallel-fiber connective tissue that contains numerous type I collagen fibers. The cellular proportion of this bradytrophic connective tissue form is low. Only individual, cytoplasmic-poor fibrocytes are arranged between the collagen fiber bundles. In cross-sections they can hardly be seen under the microscope or only as small triangles with long extensions ("wing cells").

The ligament attachments can be anchored to the bone indirectly via the periosteum, or they can radiate directly into the bone with fiber strands.

A smaller part of the ligaments, called the elastic bands, consists of tight, elastic connective tissue with a high proportion of elastic fibers. These include, for example:

5 physiology

Ligaments connect moving parts of the human skeleton together. In the area of ​​the joints, they restrict mobility to the physiologically desired level and thus ensure functional stability and guidance of the joint. In addition, they serve to transmit power together with the tendons and muscles during movements.

Due to their elasticity, ligaments also provide a certain amount of leeway in the joint guidance. It is necessary to flexibly adjust the musculoskeletal system to changing external influences, e.g. uneven terrain.

6 examples

Important ligaments in the human body include:

This page gives a complete overview of all the bands listed in the Flexikon.

7 clinic

If a ligament is excessively stressed as part of trauma, ligament stretching or ligament rupture can occur. Due to its histological properties, the tissue of ligaments is only able to regenerate to a limited extent, i.e. there is scarred defect healing. The newly formed connective tissue does not have the same biomechanical properties as the original tissue.

If a ligament rupture is not adequately treated, this can lead to instability of the involved joint, which is a risk factor for later osteoarthritis.