Synovial Tendon Sheaths And Bursal Sacs
Synovial tendon sheaths and bursal sacs.
A. Synovial tendon sheaths are longitudinal bursae that surround tendons as they pass deep to retinacula or through fibrous digital sheaths.
B. Bursal sacs enclose several structures, such as the heart, lungs, abdominal viscera, and tendons, much like this collapsed balloon encloses the fist. A thin film of lubricating fluid between the parietal and visceral layers confers mobility to the structure surrounded by the bursa within a confined compartment. The transitional folds of synovial membrane between the continuous parietal and visceral layers surrounding the connecting stalks (the wrist in this example) and/or neurovascular structures serving the surrounded mass are called mesenteries. In the case of a synovial tendon sheath, the mesentery is called a mesotendon.
Bursae occasionally communicate with the synovial cavities of joints. Because they are formed by delicate, transparent serous membranes and are collapsed, bursae are not easily noticed or dissected in the laboratory. It is possible to display bursae by injecting and distending them with colored fluid.
Collapsed bursal sacs surround many important organs (e.g., the heart, lungs, and abdominal viscera) and structures (e.g., portions of tendons). This configuration is much like wrapping a large but empty balloon around a structure, such as a fist. The object is surrounded by the two layers of the empty balloon but is not inside the balloon; the balloon itself remains empty. For an even more exact comparison, the balloon should first be filled with water and then emptied, leaving the empty balloon wet inside. In exactly this way, the heart is surrounded by—but is not inside—the pericardial sac . Each lung is surrounded by—but is not inside—a pleural sac, and the abdominal viscera are surrounded by—but are not inside—the peritoneal sac . In such cases, the inner layer of the balloon or serous sac (the one adjacent to the fist, viscus, or viscera) is called the visceral layer ; the outer layer of the balloon (or the one in contact with the body wall) is called the parietal layer . Such a surrounding double layer of membranes, moistened on their apposed surfaces, confers freedom of movement on the surrounded structure when it is contained within a confined space, such as the heart within its surrounding fibrous sac ( pericardium ) or flexor tendons within the fibrous tunnels that hold the tendons against the bones of the fingers.
Source: Clinically Oriented Anatomy
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