2. Skeleton and muscular system


Tendon (Tendo); Image: Paul Kim


A tendon is a tough, flexible band of dense connective tissue that serves to attach skeletal muscles to bones. Tendons are found at the distal and proximal ends of muscles, binding them to the periosteum of bones at their proximal (origin) and distal attachment (insertion) on the bone. As muscles contract, the tendons transmit the mechanical force to the bones, pulling them and causing movement.

Being made of dense regular connective tissue, the tendons have an abundance of parallel collagen fibers, which provide them with high tensile strength (resistance to longitudinal force). The collagen fibers within a tendon are organized into fascicles, and individual fascicles are ensheathed by a thin layer of dense connective tissue called endotenon. In turn, groups of fascicles are ensheathed by a layer of dense irregular connective tissue called epitenon. Finally, the epitenon is encircled with a synovial sheath and attached to it by a delicate connective tissue band called mesotenon.

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