Palpate the Popliteal Pulse

The popliteal artery is often difficult to assess. Each artery is evaluated separately. While the patient is lying on the back, the examiner's thumbs are placed on the patella, and the remaining fingers of both hands are pressed in the popliteal fossa medial to the lateral biceps femoris tendon, as demonstrated in Figure 15-11. The examiner should hold the leg in a mild degree of flexion. The patient should not be asked to elevate the leg, because this tightens the muscles and makes it more difficult to feel the pulse. The examiner should squeeze both hands in the popliteal fossa. Firm pressure is usually necessary to feel the pulsation.

Femoral Artery Palpation
Figure 15-9 Technique for palpation of the femoral arteries.

Figure 15-10 Technique for timing the femoral and radial pulses.

Figure 15-10 Technique for timing the femoral and radial pulses.

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