Dorsalis pedis artery

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Dorsalis pedis artery
Anterior tibial artery, dorsalis pedis artery and the muscles and bones of the leg (anterior view).
Latin arteria dorsalis pedis
Source anterior tibial artery
Supplies dorsal surface of the foot
Gray's p.636
TA A12.2.16.048
FMA 43915
Anatomical terminology

In human anatomy, the dorsalis pedis artery (dorsal artery of foot), is a blood vessel of the lower limb that carries oxygenated blood to the dorsal surface of the foot. It arises at the anterior aspect of the ankle joint and is a continuation of the anterior tibial artery. It terminates at the proximal part of the first intermetatarsal space, where it divides into two branches, the first dorsal metatarsal artery and the deep plantar artery.

Along its course, it is accompanied by a deep vein, the dorsalis pedis vein.

Palpation of the dorsalis pedis artery pulse[edit]

The dorsalis pedis artery pulse can be palpated readily lateral to the extensor hallucis longus tendon (or medially to the extensor digitorum longus tendon) on the dorsal surface of the foot, distal to the dorsal most prominence of the navicular bone which serves as a reliable landmark for palpation.[1] It is often examined, by physicians, when assessing whether a given patient has peripheral vascular disease. It is absent, unilaterally or bilaterally, in 2–3% of young healthy individuals.[2]


  1. ^ Mowlavi, A; Whiteman, J; Wilhelmi, BJ; Neumeister, MW; McLafferty, R (2002). "Dorsalis pedis arterial pulse: palpation using a bony landmark". Postgraduate Medical Journal 78 (926): 746–7. doi:10.1136/pmj.78.926.746. PMC 1757948. PMID 12509693. 
  2. ^ Robertson, GS; Ristic, CD; Bullen, BR (1990). "The incidence of congenitally absent foot pulses". Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England 72 (2): 99–100. PMC 2499134. PMID 2185683. 

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