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What is a ligament?

Definition, anatomy and function of a ligament.

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Transcript

Well, hello there! It’s Matt from Kenhub, and today, we will be talking about what exactly is a ligament. If you have any involvement in athletics or if you know people over the age of forty, it's pretty much a guarantee that you've heard someone talking about their ACL or some other torn ligament in their knee. Maybe, you've gasped in surprise or sighed in sympathy, but didn't really understand what exactly they were talking about. After watching this short video tutorial, you will be able to identify what a ligament is and what it does.

Ligaments are often confused with tendons. The purpose of a tendon is to secure bone to muscle but a ligament has the role of binding one bone to another bone. Ligaments are made of a fibrous connective tissue and are found throughout the anatomy. The following are a few of these structures.

The ACL or anterior cruciate ligament – shown here in green – bonds the femur to the tibia along with the PCL or posterior cruciate ligament which is now highlighted. Here we see the iliofemoral ligament and the ischiofemoral ligament which connect the hip bone to the femur.

Here, the medial collateral deltoid ligament is highlighted but you can see that here are many, many ligaments connecting the bony structures. They are the glue that holds our bag of bones together.

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