Effects of gradual bone lengthening on the rabbit tibial nerve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Little is known about the effect of gradual bone lengthening on peripheral nerves. In the present study, an external fixation device was applied to the rabbit tibia, which was then divided. After seven days, the tibia was subjected to 0.7 mm/day callus distraction for periods of up to one month. The tibial nerve was fixed in glutaraldehyde and plastic sections were cut in longitudinal and transverse planes for light and electron microscopy. Light microscopy showed a 64% increase in the gap length at the node of Ranvier in myelinated axons from the experimental side compared with the control side. The cross-sectional area of the non-myelinated axons was not altered significantly. We conclude that gradual stretching of the nerve elongates the nerve fibres at least at the region of the nodes, perhaps a point of least resistance. Diameters of fibres seem to be held more constant during the lengthening procedure.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurosciences
  • Surgery


  • Bone, Lengthening, Rabbit, Tibia, Tibial, Nerve, Node, Of, Ranvier
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-368
JournalScandinavian Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Hand Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch