How to Find the Pulse in Your Ankle
The heart pumps blood in waves through your arteries. A pulse is the evaluation or feeling of the pumped waves. Podiatrists take the pulse by the ankle, or the tibial posterior point, to gauge circulation and the presence of any vascular disease in the foot 1. This type of pulse is measured in strength and quality instead of by rate because it is not as accurately felt by fingertips as a radial pulse.
Remove your socks and shoes. Legs should be elevated when finding an ankle pulse.
Take the index finger and the middle finger together and slide them downward, starting from the inside of the leg until reaching the bony bump known as the ankle.
Imagine a triangle between the heel, ankle and the back of the leg. Place the two fingers inside this imaginary triangle.
Firmly press your fingertips on the spot in the middle of the imagined triangle to find your pulse.
The ankle pulse can be difficult to find. Encourage the person to relax and change the fingertip orientation until the pulse is found.
- "Assisting at Podiatric Surgery: A Guide for Podiatric Surgical Students"; Telford Thomson; 2002
- "Sideline Help"; Marshall K. Steele; 1996
- feet image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com