How can I palpate A. femoralis? | Femoral artery

How can I palpate A. femoralis?

The palpable pulse of the arteria femoralis is called femoralis pulse. It can be palpated in the groin region. Several fingers should be used at once to feel the pulse.

The thumb should not be used. While palpating, a clock should be used to determine the elapsed time in order to calculate the number of beats per minute. To find the femoral pulse, first palpate the pelvic bone from the front of the body.

On each side of the body there should be a small bony protrusion just below the height of the navel. From this palpated point, draw an imaginary line to the so-called symphysis. This is the palpable connection point of the pelvic bones located in the middle of the body. It lies just above the genital region. The femoral pulse should be palpable in the middle between the two points.

Stenosis of the femoral artery

Stenoses of arteries can be divided into thromboses and embolisms: If a blood clot is washed into the arterial vessels of the leg, e.g. coming from the left heart, it is an acute occlusion, an embolism. If a blood clot forms on the vessel wall due to a previous arteriosclerotic disease, this can lead to stenosis of the artery. This is a continuous process, a thrombosis.

The vessel is then partially or even completely blocked so that the tissue of the extremity behind it can no longer be supplied with sufficient oxygen and nutrients. This leads to ischemia of the supply area, which manifests itself in paleness and cold skin and severe pain. If the occlusion persists over a longer period of time, this leads to tissue necrosis up to gangrene, i.e. the complete death of the affected area.

Typical for a stenosis of the femoral artery is a pain on exertion, which disappears after the end of exertion. The aim of therapy is to reperfuse the ischemic area in order to prevent necrosis. In acute emergencies as well as in cases of advanced occlusion, a surgical intervention (e.g. a bypass) is performed to restore the blood supply to the displaced area. If the occlusion of the artery is not yet far advanced, a change in lifestyle (no smoking, change of diet, etc.) can help to improve the condition and prevent further thrombus enlargement.

Treatment of a stenosis with the stent

The femoral artery can become narrow during the course of life, making it very difficult for blood to flow into the leg. The result is pain in the leg, especially under stress. Treatment can be carried out in different ways.

Especially in severe cases a so-called stent is used. This is a tube consisting of net-shaped wire mesh. It usually consists of synthetic fibres or special metal.

The tubular mesh is placed inside the artery so that it lies against the arterial wall and keeps it open. Before this, the artery may be dilated by the examiner. The inserted stent stabilizes and supports the artery. The stent is implanted in a minimally invasive way through a so-called catheter. Only a small opening in the vessel is required through which the stent and catheter can be inserted.