Trials to begin on new degradable surgical implant

The protective patch, which wraps round soft tissue repairs, will be trialled in patients with shoulder injuries. It is hoped in time this approach could help patients with other conditions including arthritis, hernias and heart defects.
The implant has been developed using a mix of modern and ancient technology. Kevin Senior experiences pain every time he lifts his right arm. He has torn the tendons in his shoulder. Mr Senior, who is 59, is a plumbing engineer, so this gives him serious difficulties in his work.
Even combing his hair or shaving causes him problems. He is looking forward to having an operation next year at Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital in Oxford.
"It’s very frustrating but obviously you’ve got to do the best you can. Hopefully when it’s repaired I’ll be able to do everything, but as it stands now, you just struggle on."
There are 10,000 of these shoulder repair operations carried out each year in England and Wales. The figure has risen by 500% in the last decade. But one in four procedures is not successful, because the tendon tears again.
The surgeon who will operate on Kevin Senior’s shoulder, Professor Andrew Carr, has led a research project to improve the success rate and ensure a quicker recovery. This collaboration between the university and the hospital trust helps move ideas quickly from the lab to the clinic.
Professor Carr’s team have developed a protective patch – an implant which wraps around the surgical repair, like a splint.