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Dr Frances Henson MA, VetMB, PhD, Cert ES, Cert EM, RCVS Specialist in Equine Surgery

Dr Frances Henson, MA, VetMB, PhD, Cert ES, Cert EM, RCVS Specialist in Equine Surgery

Senior Lecturer in Equine Surgery

Research Fellow Orthopaedics Research Unit, Department of Surgery

Frances Henson is interested in taking PhD students.

Frances Henson is available for consultancy.

Subject groups/Research projects

Comparative Pathobiology:

Orthopaedic disease - bone biology, joint repair

Research Interests

I am interested in the pathophysiology of bone and joint disease and repair repair. I am a Research Fellow in the Orthopaedics Research Unit, Department of Surgery, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge where I work with Professor Andrew McCaskie in addition to providing a clinical orthopaedic service for equine patients at the Cambridge Equine Hospital.

My particular areas of active research interest at the current time include the use of biosynthetic scaffolds and biological factors to repair mensical, osteochondral and chondral defects (with Prof. McCaskie, Dr Wardale and Dr Howard), the response of cartilage to load (with particular emphasis on the response of the serine protease HtrA1) (with Dr Paula Hernandez),the role of the wnt signalling pathway inhibitor, sclerostin, in osteochondral repair (with Dr Wardale and Dr Hyvonen) and the aetiopathogenesis of stress fractures in racing horses (with Drs Power and Singer).


Main collaborators:

  • Professor Andrew McCaskie, Department of Surgery, University of Cambridge
  • Dr John Wardale, Department of Surgery, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Marko Hyvonen, Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Alan Getgood, Fowler Kennedy Sports Medicine Institue, Ontario, Canada, Assistant Prof. University Western Ontario
  • Dr John Power, University of Chester
  • Dr Ellen Singer, University of Liverpool
  • Dr Dan Howard, Department of Surgery, University of Cambridge

My work is currently funded by the NIHR, the HorseRace Betting Levy Fund and Merck Serono.


  • Osteochondral defects
  • Biosynthetic scaffolds
  • Ageing
  • Stem cells
  • cellular pathophysiology
  • Pathology
  • articular chondrocytes

Key Publications

Full list of publications at
Selected recent publications:
  • Power, J., Hernandez, P, Wardale, J and Henson F.M.D. (2014) Alterations in sclerostin protein in lesions of equine osteochondrosis.Veterinary Record Open 1 (1), e000005
  • Power, J., Hernandez P., Guering H., Getgood A. and Henson FMD (2014) Intra-articular injection of rhFGF-18 improves the healing in microfracture treated chondral defects in an ovine model. J Orthop Res. DOI:10.1002/jor.22580
  • Ahmad Z, Howard D, Brooks RA, Wardale J, Henson FMD, Rushton N. (2012) The role of platelet rich plasma in musculoskeletal science. J. R. Soc. Med. Sh. Rep. 2012 3 40
  • Henson, F.M.D., Getgood, A., Caborn, D.M., McIlwraith, C.W. and Rushton, N. (2012) Effect of a solution of hyaluronic acid-chondroitin sulfate-N-acetyl glucosamine on the repair response of cartilage to single-impact load damage. Am J Vet Res 73(2):306-312
  • Getgood, A., Henson, FMD., Skelton, C., Herrera, E., Brooks, R., Fortier, L. A., . . . Rushton, N. (2012). The Augmentation of a Collagen/Glycosaminoglycan Biphasic Osteochondral Scaffold with Platelet-Rich Plasma and Concentrated Bone Marrow Aspirate for Osteochondral Defect Repair in Sheep: A Pilot Study. Cartilage, 3(4), 351-363.
  • Ahmad, Z., Brooks, R., Wardale, J., Henson, F., Arshad, K., Ghose, S., . . . Rushton, N. (2012). Tissue engineering for the rotator cuff. J Tissue Engi Regen Med 6, 47. 
  • Hernandez, P., Wardale, J., Rushton, N., & Henson, FMD. (2012). Changes in HTRA1 in cartilage after single impact loading . Osteoarthritis Cart 20 S125-126. 
  • Ahmad, Z., Wardale, J., Brooks, R., Henson, F., Noorani, A., & Rushton, N. (2012). Exploring the application of stem cells in tendon repair and regeneration.. Arthroscopy, 28(7), 1018-1029. doi:10.1016/j.arthro.2011.12.009
  • Henson, F. M., Getgood, A. M., Caborn, D. M., McIlwraith, C. W., & Rushton, N. (2012). Effect of a solution of hyaluronic acid-chondroitin sulfate-N-acetyl glucosamine on the repair response of cartilage to single-impact load damage.. Am J Vet Res, 73(2), 306-312. doi:10.2460/ajvr.73.2.306
  • Enea D, Henson F M, Kew S, Wardale J, Getgood A, Brooks R, Rushton N. (2011) Extruded collagen fibres for tissue engineering applications: effect of crosslinking method on mechanical and biological properties. J. Mater. Sci: Mater Med 22(6): 1569-78.
  • Getgood A, Henson F M, Brooks R, Fortier LA, Rushton N. (2011) Platelet-rich plasma activation in combination with biphasic osteochondral scaffolds- conditions for maximal growth factor production.Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 19 (11): 1942-7.
  • Henson F.M.D. and Getgood, A. (2011) The use of scaffolds in musculo-skeletal tissue engineering. Open Orthopl. J 5 Suppl 2 261-266.
  • Voute L.C., Henson F.M.D., Platt D. and Jeffcott L.B. (2011) Osteochondrosis lesions of the lateral trochlear ridge of the distal femur in four ponies. Vet Rec 168 265
  • Getgood, A, McNamara I., Kili, S., Bhullar, T and Henson F.M.D (2011) Reduced chondrocyte viability is associated with the use of surgical marker pen ink. Am. J. Sports Med. 39 1270-1274
  • Henson, F., Wardale, J., Hernandez, P., & Rushton, N. (2011). The relationship between HTRA1 and type VI collagen in a single impact load model of human cartilage damage. Int J Exp Pathol 92, A22