5. Ligaments.—These bodies possess in an eminent degree those properties by which the whole fibrous system is distinguished ; and consequently the term ligamentous is often em ployed to designate the whole of the fibrous organs.
The ligaments fulfil a very important office in the animal economy by binding together the various bones of the skeleton, an object which they are enabled to effect in consequence of their fibres being very firmly attached, and as it were consolidated with the osseous system through the medium of the periosteum. It is stated by Portal, that after the bones have been softened by the influence of an acid, the liga ments are observed to send processes into their substance, which cause the ligaments to adhere so firmly that, although by very great force they may be torn, yet they cannot be separated from the bones.
Although these organs are dissimilar in shape, yet there are three forms among them which predominate : 1. the capsular, 2. the funicular, 3. what, for want of a better ex pression, may be called laminated. The true fibrous capsules which consist of cylindrical bags lined internally by synovial membrane, are confined to the shoulder and hip-joints, although imperfect capsules exist in many other articulations. The funicular and la minated ligaments are much more universally diffused, assisting in fact in the formation of elm joint in the skeleton.
6. Tcadons.—Thesa organs, which serve to connect the muscles to the osseous system, are composed of fibres so closely disposed that some anatomists, but erroneously, doubt their identity with the other fibrous organs. This compactness is owing to the extreme con densation of the intervening cellular tissue, which is also the cause of these bodies re sisting for a longer period than the ligamen tous or fascia) structures, the influence of ma ceration. • Every tendon is united by one of its ex tremities to the fibres of the muscle to which it belongs, and by the other it is connected with the bone or other part on which the muscle is destined to act. The exact mode of connexion between the tendinous and mus cular tissues is difficult to determine. Ocular and microscopical inspection seem to prove that the tendinous fibres result from the con tinuation arid condensation of those cellular sheaths, which inclose and in part form the muscular fibrils. It has, however, been stated that there is an intermediate substance between the muscle and the tendon, different from both of them, and serving to connect them together. The details relative to the mecha nical disposition of these organs belong to the consideration of the muscular system.—See MUSCLE.