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Typical Joint
Code TH H3.
Anatomical terminology

The enthesis (plural: entheses) is the connective tissue between tendon or ligament and bone.[1]

There are two types of entheses: Fibrous entheses and fibrocartilaginous entheses.

In a fibrous enthesis, the collagenous tendon or ligament directly attaches to the bone, whereas the fibrocartilaginous interface encompasses four transition zones:

  1. Tendinous area displaying longitudinally oriented fibroblasts and a parallel arrangement of collagen fibres
  2. Fibrocartilaginous region of variable thickness where the structure of the cells changes to chondrocytes
  3. Abrupt transition from cartilaginous to calcified fibrocartilage—the so-called 'tidemark' or 'blue line'
  4. Bone


A disease of the entheses is known as an enthesopathy or enthesitis.[2] Enthetic degeneration is characteristic of spondyloarthropathy and other pathologies.

The enthesis is the primary site of disease in ankylosing spondylitis.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "enthesis". Medcyclopaedia. GE. Archived from the original on 2012-02-05. 
  2. ^ Benjamin, M.; Toumi, H.; Ralphs, J. R.; Bydder, G.; Best, T. M.; Milz, S. (April 2006). "Where tendons and ligaments meet bone: Attachment sites (‘entheses’) in relation to exercise and/or mechanical load". Journal of Anatomy 208 (4): 471–90. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7580.2006.00540.x. PMC 2100202. 

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