Pedal Pulse

  1. Just looking for some tips in regards to assessing the pedal pulse. I have a very difficult time finding it on pts. I normally have to use the doppler, but the nurse seems to get it everytime with out. Any suggestions?
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    About nsgstudent007

    Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 26; Likes: 1


  3. by   NicoleERRN
    A good hint i was taught is use the three inner fingers, (pointer, middle and ring) and together start at the middle of the foot and palpate across and back and forth until you find it. Take your time and practice makes perfect! Good Luck :spin:
  4. by   Daytonite
    According to Textbook of Physical Diagnosis: History and Examination, 3rd edition, by Mark H. Swartz, M.D., page 329 "The dorsalis pedis pulse is best felt by dorsiflexion of the foot. The dorsalis pedis artery passes along a line from the extensor retinaculum of the ankle to a point just lateral to the extensor tendon of the great toe." - if you scroll down this page to the section near the end entitled The Distal Pulses you will find a discussion and photos (one anatomical from a cadaver) on how to locate and palpate the Dorsalis Pedis Pulse in the foot.

    Some additional information for you, in the event that the subject of the "grading", or amplitude, of pulses should come up. Here is the most popular grading scale that is used (page 330 of the Swartz textbook):
    0 - absent
    1 - diminished
    2 - normal
    3 - increased
    4 - bounding
    Last edit by Daytonite on Sep 29, '07
  5. by   UM Review RN
    I was taught to put my finger on the top of the foot between the Great toe and the second toe, and feel the skin as you move your finger toward the leg. Don't press too hard; it can obliterate weaker pulses.

    Here's a link to some photos:
  6. by   UM Review RN
    P.S. Daytonite, thanks! Fascinating site!!
  7. by   Daytonite
    Angie O'Plasty, RN. . .likewise. Nice photos in the weblinks you posted.
  8. by   eternalsunshine
    I know this is an old post, but for any other newbie nurses who are looking to find answers to this question, here is a great video!