Posterior tibial artery
|Posterior tibial artery|
Back of left lower extremity, showing surface markings for bones, vessels, and nerves (posterior tibial artery labeled at bottom right).
|Branches||Fibular artery, medial plantar artery, lateral plantar artery|
|Vein||Posterior tibial vein|
|Latin||Arteria tibialis posterior|
The posterior tibial artery of the lower limb carries blood to the posterior compartment of the leg and plantar surface of the foot, from the popliteal artery via the tibial-fibular trunk. It is accompanied by a deep vein, the posterior tibial vein, along its course.
The posterior tibial artery gives rise to the medial plantar artery, lateral plantar artery, and gives rise to the fibular artery. Often, the branch of the fibular artery is said to rise from the bifurcation of the tibial-fibular trunk and the posterior tibial artery.
In addition a calcaneal branch to the medial aspect of the calcaneus.
Palpation of the posterior tibial artery pulse
The posterior tibial artery pulse can be readily palpated halfway between the posterior border of the medial malleolus and the achilles tendon and is often examined by physicians when assessing a patient for peripheral vascular disease. It is very rarely absent in young and healthy individuals; in a study of 547 healthy individuals only one person did not have a palpable posterior tibial artery. It is easily palpated over Pimenta's Point.
Major arteries of the leg (posterior view).
- Gray's s157 - "The Arteries of the Lower Extremity"
- Gray's s95 - "Ankle joint"
- Anatomy figure: 12:04-14 at Human Anatomy Online, SUNY Downstate Medical Center - "Arteries of the lower extremity shown in association with major landmarks."
- Image at umich.edu - pulse