What are Ligaments? | Function and Purpose

What are Ligaments?

They are flexible bands of connective tissue that attach bones to each other to form joints. They are made of strong collagen tissue and they provide stability to the joints while allowing a range of movement. Without them, your body would collapse into a shapeless form.

They also act as shock absorbers to prevent injury to the body organs. Also, some are designed to limit or prevent some movements such as excessive flexion.what are ligaments

The human body is made up of a skeletal framework that is designed to protects internal organs, provide structure and stability, and allow movement.

This structure is interconnected by an intricate network consisting of bones, tendons and ligaments.

The human body has 900 ligaments. Of these, 600 are located in the extremities. From the neck upwards, there are 70 and 230 are in the trunk, 40 in the abdomen and 10 in the pelvic area. Hands and legs have 600, with six in each toe and 30 in the soles, 30 in the leg and 10 in the knee joint.

What are the Types of Ligaments in the Human Body?

There are three types:

  • capsular, which protect and strengthen the synovial joints,
  • extra capsular joints, which provide stability to joints, and
  • and the more flexible intra-capsular ligaments which allow a wider range of movement.


Head and Neck 

Some of the ligaments found on the head and the neck area are:

  • cricothyroid, connects the teeth to the alveolar bone and provides strength to the teeth to withstand the stress of chewing and other movements
  • periodontal, connects the teeth to the alveolar bone and provides strength to the teeth to withstand the stress of chewing and other movements
  • and suspensory, supports the eye lens in place


The thorax contains sets on which the chest and abdominal muscles are attached, and hold the spinal cord together. Ligaments in the spine consist of the:

  • ligamentum flavum, which covers the layer that protects the spinal cord’s dura mater,
  • anterior longitudinal ligament that attaches the vertebrae to the front and the
  • posterior vertical ligament, located along the entire length of the spine at the posterior, which also connects the vertebrae.



Ligaments located in the pelvic area include:

  • the anterior and posterior sacroiliac ligaments,
  • sacrotuberous,
  • sacrospinous,
  • inferior and superior pubic ligaments and the
  • suspensory ligament of the penis.

These articulate the bones in the pelvis and prevent dislocation of joints.


In the legs, most are located in the knees and ankle joints.

In the ankles:

  • the deltoid ligament provides support to medial side and connects the tibia to the talus and calcaneus bones.
  • Talofibular support the lateral side and also connect the talus to the fibula.
  • Calcaneofibular ligament connects the fibula to the calcaneus bones.

In the knee joints:

  • medical collateral,
  • anterior and posterior cruciate and the
  • lateral collateral ligaments.

These control movement of the joint and connect the bones in legs. To learn more detail about the anatomy of the human body and about ligaments ClICK HERE.



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