Tendons consist almost entirely of parallel collagen fibres, with elongated cells scattered among them. At the junction with muscle there are strengthened connections to infoldings of the muscle fibre membrane; at the junction with bone there are strong links to the fibrous covering (periosteum) adherent to it. To cause movement in exact proportion to the shortening of the muscle, a tendon would need to be inextensible; there is, however, a small degree of elasticity. Tearing of tendons is rare, because their breaking strength is high, but the Achilles tendon for example is sometimes the victim of sports injury. The solid structure, with few blood vessels, is then a disadvantage, making healing tediously slow.
At any site where a tendon lies in a tunnel or groove, it is surrounded by a smooth, double-layered, fluid-containing (synovial) sheath, facilitating mobility with minimal friction. Inflammation in such a sheath, for example at the wrist, is the painful condition of tenosynovitis.
Tendons are furnished with sensory receptors (Golgi tendon organs) that detect the tension within them and therefore the extent to which the attached muscle is exerting force upon them. Excessive nerve impulses generated by them cause reflex inhibition of the muscle contraction via the spinal cord. This provides defence against overstretching and potential tearing.
See musculo-skeletal system.See also skeletal muscle.
"tendons." The Oxford Companion to the Body. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 19, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tendons
"tendons." The Oxford Companion to the Body. . Retrieved May 19, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tendons
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