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What Is a Ligament?


Updated June 15, 2014

Definition: A ligament is a tough band of fibrous tissue that connects bone to bone or bone to cartilage and supports and strengthens joints. The main function of ligaments are to keep the bones of the skeleton in proper alignment and prevent abnormal movements of the joints.

While ligaments are extremely strong, they can be stretched or even torn. This usually occurs during an extreme force such as a fall or another high impact. When a ligament is injured because it is stretched too far from its normal position it is called a sprain.

The most commonly injured ligaments include those in the

Also See: What Is the Difference Between a Sprain and a Strain?

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