ligament(redirected from annular ligament)
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A strong, flexible connective tissue band usually found between two bony prominences. Most ligaments are composed of dense fibrous tissue formed by parallel bundles of collagen fibers. They have a shining white appearance and are pliable, strong, and noncompliant. A second kind of ligament, composed either partly or almost entirely of yellow elastic fibers, is extensible or compliant, thereby allowing the connected bones to move apart. See Connective tissue, Joint (anatomy)
in man, a dense band or layer of fibrous tissue that connects skeletal bones or individual organs. Ligaments usually are found near joints and perform a variety of functions, depending on the movements in the joint. Joint capsules are strengthened by reinforcing ligaments, limited in their amplitude by inhibiting ligaments, and directed in their movements by directing ligaments. In many joints, ligaments act as passive bands whose attenuation impairs static functions and alters the shape of the corresponding elements of the skeleton. The main blood vessels that nourish bone pass through some ligaments. The microscopic structure of articular ligaments consists of a variety of dense fibrous tissue whose dominant elements are bands of collagenous and elastic fibers.
The term “ligament” is often applied to anatomic formations not associated with joints, for example, the ligaments of visceral organs, which consist of fine double layers of peritoneum.