Examination of peripheral arteries – Posterior tibial

Definition:

 The clinical use of palpation to obtain a qualitative reading of an individual’s pulse at the Posterior tibial pulse.

Test procedure:

With your patient lying supine and slightly inclined, locate the tip of the medial malleolus and Achilles tendon, the posterior tibial artery lies mid-way between these two points (Pimenta’s point).

Test findings: Positive & negative

The rate, rhythm and quality of the pulsations of the posterior tibial artery are appreciated. A normal resting pulse rate for an untrained adult is between sixty and one hundred beats per minute, with that of a well-trained adult between forty and sixty beats per minute.

A good guide for knowing how many pulsations is normal, is for there to be approximately four pulsations for every breath taken.

The practitioner should be looking for any signs of pathological pulses.

Special considerations:

Due to its distance from the heart, it is normal for this pulse to appear slightly fainter than pulses more proximal.