INTRODUCTION: Many disorders in clinical orthopedics present tissue degeneration and lack of repair due to lack of a scaffold. Chitosan is a sugar polymer that is produced from chitin. The current abstract describes our experience with chitosan as a tissue regeneration supporting scaffold. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Several models were evaluated including the rat acute rotator cuff model, the lapine Masuda's disc degeneration model and the medial menisectomy rat model. RESULTS: The use of chitosan enhances tendon repair in the rat rotator cuff model and prevents muscle atrophy. The use of chitosan gel appears to prevent disc degeneration in the masuda model. In the osteoarthritis model the use of chitosan leads to better cartilage preservation and less osteophyte formation. Animal pain is reduced as measured using an incapacitance meter. DISCUSSION: The use of chitosan gel allows repair of several difficult animal models simulating common orthopedic maladies.