Posterior tibial artery

Medically reviewed by Healthline Medical Team on April 9, 2015

The posterior tibial artery runs down the leg, just below the knee. It branches off from the popliteal artery and delivers freshly oxygenated blood to the leg's posterior compartment and the bottom portion of the foot.

During the course of this blood vessel, it splits into several branches. This includes the fibular, medial plantar, and lateral plantar arteries. While the artery delivers oxygenated blood, the poster tibial vein drains oxygen-depleted blood and moves it back toward the heart and lungs.

The posterior tibial artery is palpable, or able to be felt, in certain locations. A pulse can easily be detected at the leg's Pimenta point, which is located near the medial malleolus and the Achilles tendon's insertion point. The medial malleolus is the bony projection on the inside of each ankle. Often, doctors access a patient's pulse through Pimenta's point. By doing this, they can make an assessment regarding both arterial health and the patient's risks for peripheral vascular disease. This condition involves circulatory obstruction unrelated to the heart or the brain.

CMS Id: 140943