How do you assess a popliteal pulse?

‌Wrap your hand around your knee so your fingers are against the soft spot in the back of your knee. ‌Slowly press your fingers into this soft spot until you can feel your pulse. It should feel like a steady pulse once or twice per second. This is your popliteal pulse.

Is the popliteal pulse palpable?

Place your hands around the knee and push the tips of your fingers into the popliteal fossa in an effort to feel the popliteal pulse. Even then, it may not be palpable, which is not clinically important if you can still identify the more distal pulses (see below).

What does 2+ pulse mean?

Palpation should be done using the fingertips and intensity of the pulse graded on a scale of 0 to 4 +:0 indicating no palpable pulse; 1 + indicating a faint, but detectable pulse; 2 + suggesting a slightly more diminished pulse than normal; 3 + is a normal pulse; and 4 + indicating a bounding pulse.

Why is the popliteal pulse hard to find?

The pulse of the popliteal artery is difficult to feel as the artery is not superficial and does not cross a prominent bone. Its pulse may be palpated by various methods. All should be attempted before concluding that it is absent: The examiner feels along the line of the artery with the finger tips of both hands.

Is the popliteal pulse hard to find?

The popliteal pulse, located at the back of the knee (popliteal artery), is the most challenging pulse to find in the body. The person may just have deep vessels or thick muscles preventing you from feeling the rhythm in the artery.

Why do thighs pulsate?

Common causes that are usually minor Twitching can occur after physical activity because lactic acid accumulates in the muscles used during exercise. It most often affects the arms, legs, and back. Muscle twitches caused by stress and anxiety are often called “nervous ticks.” They can affect any muscle in the body.

When would you take a popliteal pulse?

A doctor might check for a popliteal pulse to evaluate how well blood is flowing to the lower leg. Some of the conditions where a doctor may check the popliteal pulse include: Peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD occurs when damage or narrowing of the arteries affects blood flow to the lower legs.

What should you never use to measure a pulse?

Checking your pulse on the wrist You can easily check your pulse on the inside of your wrist, below your thumb. Gently place 2 fingers of your other hand on this artery. Do not use your thumb, because it has its own pulse that you may feel.

Which is the best way to detect a popliteal pulse?

Get the patient to lie flat. The popliteal pulse can be more difficult to detect than other pulses, so you want to make sure you have good access to the area. Start by having the patient lie down flat on their back if possible. If it is not possible for them to get on their back, have them lie down on their side.

Can you feel a pulse in the popliteal fossa?

The pulsation will feel like a heartbeat, usually steady and even in nature. Sometimes you may have to press very deep into the popliteal fossa to feel the pulse. Some people have a lot of tissue on the back of their knee. Note if you feel any other masses or weakened areas of tissue, such as a potential aneurysm.

How do you find the popliteal artery in the knee?

Now that you know where the popliteal artery is located, here’s how you can identify it: In a seated or lying position, slightly bend your leg at the knee, but not so bent that your foot is flat on the floor. Place your hands around the front of your knee so your fingers are on the back portion of your knee.

What should I do if I feel a pulse in my knee?

Place your hands around the knee and push the tips of your fingers into the popliteal fossa in an effort to feel the popliteal pulse. Note whether it feels simply pulsatile (normal) or enlarged and aneurysmal (uncommon).