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Dorsal venous arch of the foot

The dorsal venous arch of the foot is superficially located near the skin surface. For most people, it should be easily visible on their foot's upper side. If a person were to press their finger against it, they should be able to feel a pulse. The pulse is from the dorsalis pedis artery.

The arch assists in draining oxygen-depleted blood from the foot. Also, it receives blood from the dorsal metatarsal veins, which drains the foot's metatarsal region (the area leading to the toe bones) and drains the dorsal digital veins servicing the toes. From there, the arch drains its oxygen-depleted blood into the small and large saphenous veins. Eventually, the blood flows into many other vessels in the venous system as it travels up the leg and back to the lungs and the heart.

The dorsal venous arch of the foot works complimentarily to arteries in the region, like the arcuate artery of the foot, which is also called the metatarsal artery. Unlike veins, these arterial vessels deliver oxygenated blood from the lungs and heart, which allows for proper functioning of the foot's muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Dorsal venous arch of the foot

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