1. Stretching of the tibial nerve cut 2 centimetres above the ankle has been the subject of an experimental study in rabbits.
2. The effects on intraneural microcirculation, on vascular permeability, and on the barrier function of the perineurium have been analysed with the aim of determining the extent to which a divided nerve can be stretched without interfering with the process of repair.
3. The results obtained may prove valuable for understanding basic mechanisms and for establishing certain important limitations when end-to-end suture of a nerve trunk is performed under some degree of tension in man.