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tendons foot

Tendon (or sinew) is a tough band of fibrous connective tissue that usually connects muscle to bone and is capable of withstanding tension. Tendons are similar to ligaments and fasciae as they are all made of collagen except that ligaments join one bone to another bone, and fasciae connect muscles to other muscles. Tendons and muscles work together.

Normal healthy tendons are composed mostly of parallel arrays of collagen fibers closely packed together. The dry mass of normal tendons, which makes up about 30% of the total mass with water, is composed of about 86% collagen, 2% elastin, 1?5% proteoglycans, and 0.2% inorganic components such as copper, manganese, and calcium.

Tendon length is determined by genetic predisposition, and has not been shown to either increase or decrease in response to environment, unlike muscles, which can be shortened by trauma, use imbalances and a lack of recovery and stretching.

Tendons have been traditionally considered to simply be a mechanism by which muscles connect to bone, functioning simply to transmit forces. However, over the past two decades, much research focused on the elastic properties of tendons and their ability to function as springs. This allows tendons to passively modulate forces during locomotion, providing additional stability with no active work. It also allows tendons to store and recover energy at high efficiency. For example, during a human stride, the Achilles tendon stretches as the ankle joint dorsiflexes. During the last portion of the stride, as the foot plantar-flexes (pointing the toes down), the stored elastic energy is released. Furthermore, because the tendon stretches, the muscle is able to function with less or even no change in length, allowing the muscle to generate greater force.

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