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Directional Terminology

TermDefinition
Left left on subject. Ex: stomach is left to liver.
Right right on subject. Ex: right kidney is damaged.
Lateral toward side, away from midsaggital plane. Ex: eyes are lateral to nose.
Medial toward migsaggital plane away from side. Ex: eyes are medial to ears.
Anterior toward front of body. Ex: nose is anterior of head.
Posterior toward back (rear). Ex: heel is posterior to head.
Superior toward top of body. Ex: shoulders are superior to hips.
Inferior toward bottom of body. Ex: stomach is inferior to heart.
Dorsal along/toward vertebral surface/backside. Ex: Her scar is along the dorsal surface.
Ventral alone/toward the belly surface. Ex: the navel is on the ventral surface.
Caudal (caudad) toward tail. Ex: neck is caudal to tail.
Cephalad toward head. Ex: neck is cephalad to tail.
Proximal toward trunk/relative position to limb. Ex: knee is proximal to toes.
Distal away from trunk/point of attachment. Ex: fingers are distal to elbow.
Visceral toward internal organs; away from surface/cavity. Ex: organ is covered w/ the visceral layer of membrane.
Parietal toward wall; away from internal structures. Ex: abdominal cavity is lined w/ parietal peritoneal membrane.
Deep toward inside of part; away from surface. Ex: thigh muscles are deep to skin.
Superficial toward surfaces of part; away from inside. Ex: skin is superficial organ.
Medullary inner region; medulla. Ex: Medullary portion of organ contains nerve tissue.
Cortical outer region; cortex. Ex: cortical area makes hormones.
Ipsilateral same side. Ex: left knee is ipsilateral to left ankle.
Contralateral opposite side. Ex: left knee is contralateral to right knee.
Created by: cookiemascot07
 

 



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