Ligament and tendon injuries are common clinical problems. Healing of these tissues occurs, but their properties do not return to normal. This predisposes to recurrent injuries, instability and arthritis, loss of motion and weakness. Gene therapy offers a novel approach to the repair of ligaments and tendons. Introduction of genes into ligaments and tendons using vectors has been successful. Marker genes and therapeutic genes have been introduced into both tissues with evidence of corresponding functional alterations. In addition, gene transfer has been used to manipulate the healing environment, opening the possibility of gene transfer to investigate ligament and tendon development and homeostasis, in addition to using this technology therapeutically. Several factors modulate the 'success' of gene transfer in these tissues.