Mechanical Properties of Ligament and Tendon

  • R. Bruce Martin
  • David B. Burr
  • Neil A. Sharkey


Ligaments and tendons, the flexible structures that bind together the musculoskeletal system, are extraordinarily strong in resisting tensile loads. For example, the digital flexor tendon from the foreleg of a horse is strong enough to support the weight of two large automobiles. The Anglo-Saxon word for tendon is “sinew,” which also means “strong” or “tough.” As Aristotle realized, without ligaments and tendons to stabilize and animate our skeletons, they would be mechanically useless. We now turn our attention to these important tissues.


Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rotator Cuff Medial Collateral Ligament Hydrostatic Stress Flexor Tendon 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Bruce Martin
    • 1
  • David B. Burr
    • 2
  • Neil A. Sharkey
    • 3
  1. 1.Orthopaedics Research Laboratories, Research Building IUniversity of California Davis Medical CenterSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, MS 259Indiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  3. 3.Center for Locomotion StudiesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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