Anatomical Terminology
Anatomical Terminology

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The Anatomic Position - standard reference position of the human body for anatomy, medicine, and surgery - anatomic position - the body is standing upright, or is lying supine, with the arms and hands at the sides, rotated externally, with palms facing anteriorly - sectional planes of the body - sagittal = median plane, at the midline, dividing right from left - parasagittal = median plane, to right or left of midline - coronal = frontal plane, dividing front from back - transverse = horizontal plane, dividing superior from inferior - directional terms: - sup erior (cranial, rostral, cephalad) = towards the head - inferior (caudal, caudad) = towards the tail - anterior - posterior - median = at or in the midline - medial = towards the midline - l ateral = away from the midline - ipsilateral = same side of body - contralateral = opposite side of body - proximal = towards the body - distal = away from the body - internal (medial) rotation (note: internal rotation of the forearm = pronation) - external (lateral) rotation (note: external rotation of the forearm = supination) - varus = angled toward the midline - valgus = angled away from the midline - region al terms: - cephalic (head) and cervical (neck) - thoracic (chest) and dorsal (back) - upper extremity: shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand - ventral (abdominal); lumbar (lower back) - inguinal (groi n) and pudendal (genital) - gluteal (buttocks); (upper = sacral), (lower = coccygeal and perianal) - lower extremity: hip, thigh, knee, leg or lower leg, ankle and foot ©