Biological tendon repair: Expert insight

Written by: Mr Andrew Chambler
Edited by: Sophie Kennedy

In this informative guide from revered consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Andrew Chambler, we hear how tendon injuries typically occur and the benefits of biological treatment modalities for tendon repair. The leading specialist also reveals which are the most effective types of biological materials and how they are utilised in treatment of this type.



How do tendon injuries commonly occur?


Tendon injuries commonly occur by two mechanisms; through a traumatic event, such as a sports injury or a fall at work or in the home, or as a result of ageing, where we slowly begin to wear out our tendons as we get older and they start to fray and eventually tear.


What are the different options available to repair a tendon?


The different options in terms of tendon repair are very varied. Some tendons don't actually need to be repaired and the other parts of the body around them can compensate. In other cases, however, the tendon is repaired back onto the bone with various strategies using bone anchors and sutures, either through a keyhole (minimally invasive) technique or with an open operation.


Who is a suitable candidate for biological tendon repairs?


The candidates that are suitable for biological tendon repair tend to be patients of a younger age group as we know that as we get older, our tendons and our bodies can't heal as well and don't have the mechanisms to do so. However, in potentially every tendon repair case, biologics could be used to help get a successful outcome.


How are biological materials used in the tendon repair process?


Biological materials for tendon repair tend to be used in two ways. One way is to try and induce the tendon itself to heal, or to form new tendon like substance to give structure. The second way is to have materials that take the place of tendons in terms of bridging defects or replacing tendons entirely that have that have been torn away and are irreparable.


Which biological materials are best for tendon repairs?


The best biological materials are ones that don't harm or affect the patient and are inert, which most are. The best materials are also those which are able to help to biologically induce the patient’s own tendons to heal, as well as supporting these tendons in a structured way to allow them to have a successful healing outcome.


What benefits do biological materials offer for tendon repairs?


The advantage of having a biological tendon repair is that you are using your own tissues to help your body to heal. We have also seen that patients’ recovery time following surgical procedures is reduced and that they are back to their work, normal lifestyles and recreational pursuits sooner than with a simple standard structural repair.



If you wish to schedule a consultation with Mr Chambler, you can do so by visiting his Top Doctors profile.

By Mr Andrew Chambler
Orthopaedic surgery

Mr Andrew Chambler is a highly distinguished consultant orthopaedic surgeon with practices in Bath and Newport. With more than 20 years of consultant-level experience, Mr Chambler is internationally renowned for his specialist expertise in keyhole shoulder and elbow surgery. Included in his highly skilled clinical practice are rotator cuff repair, shoulder replacement surgery and shoulder arthroscopy procedures alongside treatment for frozen shoulder, shoulder impingement and sports injuries. In the UK, Mr Chambler is also a pioneer in the use of biomaterials for tendon repairs.

Mr Chambler originally qualified from St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, part of Imperial College London, in 1992 with an intercalated BSc in Clinical Science. He completed his specialist orthopaedic training on the acclaimed North West Thames rotation before going on to obtain his Master of Surgery from the University of London in 2000. Having previously become a fellow of The Royal College of Surgeons, Mr Chambler later accomplished four prestigious fellowships: a shoulder and elbow clinical fellowship from Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and three British Elbow and Shoulder Society travelling fellowships, within the UK, Europe and the famed Mayo Clinic in the USA.

Mr Chambler also held a consultant post at Yeovil Hospital for more than a decade, during which he was closely involved in the development of shoulder and elbow services. He not only secured the provision of new arthroscopic techniques but also managed quality control of surgical outcomes to enable the utmost up-to-date patient care. Mr Chambler was named clinical director of orthopaedics at Yeovil Hospital in 2011, and in 2013, also joined Sulis Hospital Bath (formerly Circle Bath Hospital) in a surgical partnership. For 7 years, Mr. Chambler served as the first executive consultant orthopaedic surgeon and clinical chairman at Sulis Hospital Bath. 

Further to his highly specialised surgical practice, Mr Chambler is a prominent figure in clinical research and medical education. He is an MS examiner for both the University of London and the University of Oxford, and in the past, also served as the site principle investigator for multi-centre randomised clinical trials, most notably for the UKUFF Trial. Currently, Mr. Chambler holds the position of Principal Investigator for the IMPACT Study. As a leading figure in his speciality, Mr Chambler is also regularly invited as an expert lecturer at select faculty courses in the UK and abroad, and as a reviewer for various orthopaedic peer-reviewed journals.

View Profile

Overall assessment of their patients

  • Related procedures
  • Platelet-rich plasma
    Ozone therapy
    Botulinum toxin (Botox™)
    Abnormal gait
    Epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
    Elbow Pain
    Nerve Compression elbow
    Median nerve compression
    Radial nerve compression
    This website uses our own and third-party Cookies to compile information with the aim of improving our services, to show you advertising related to your preferences as well analysing your browsing habits. You can change your settings HERE.