Tendon vs. Ligament: What’s the Difference?

Tendons and Ligaments are the types of connective tissues found in the bodies of human beings. Both Tendons and Ligaments are specific in their functions. They have very different structures from each other.

Although both contain collagen still, they are pretty different from each other. Biology students find it hard to ingest the differences between tendons and ligaments. So, we will describe the types of connective tissues to you briefly.

Main Difference

Tendons attach muscle to bones, while Ligaments connect one bone with bone or multiple bones, so they are involved in the movement of living organisms. Tendons are inelastic connective tissues, while Ligaments are elastic.

What are Tendons?

Tendons are necessary connective tissues for the movement of an organism. They serve to connect muscle bundles(epimysium) with bones. Tendons are very tough connective tissues and highly strict. They are untenable. They are made of very thick connective tissues that contain collagen fibers.

Without tendons, human beings will become unable to move their bones, and movement will be impossible. Tendons are found in various body parts, which include legs, feet, arms, lumbar region, thoracic region, and many other body parts. It also attaches muscles to eyeballs. Tendons provide stability to the body.

What are Ligaments?

Ligaments are fibrous connective tissues that aid in the attachment of one bone to other bones. They stabilize the skeletal system of the body of human beings. They have plenty of collagen fibers in them. In microscopic view, they appear like beautiful threads.

Ligaments are found at the points where bones meet to make joints. Ligaments exist in various forms. They are found in the appendicular and axial skeleton. Ligaments are also elastic.

Key Differences between Tendon and Ligament

  • Tendons attach muscles to bones, while ligaments connect bone to bone.
  • Tendons are inelastic, while Ligaments are elastic.
  • Tendons are tough connective tissues, while Ligaments are vital connective tissues.
  • Tendons have fibroblast in continuous rows, while fibroblast is found scattered in ligaments.
  • Tendons have parallel arrangements of fibers, while ligaments have scattered structures of fibers.
  • Tendons usually look white, while ligaments appear yellow.
  • Tendons lack the classification system, while ligaments have three types: articular, peritoneal, and fetal remnant.

Comparison Chart of Tendon vs. Ligaments

S0tatement       Tendons Ligaments
Function Attach muscles with bones Attach bone with bone
Elasticity inelastic Elastic
Strength Tough Strong
Color Clear white Light yellow
Classification Lack classification Three types;

  • Articulate
  • Peritoneal
  • Fetal


In a nutshell, we can say that Tendons and Ligaments are vital connective tissues. Tendons have their importance, while Ligaments are essential in their function. They can not be considered the same thing. I hope the above data will help you understand the critical differences between Tendons and Ligaments.