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Directional Terms

Medical Terminology Directional Terms

Abduction Movement away from the midsagittal (median) plane of the body or one of its parts
Adduction Movement toward the midsagittal (median) plane of the body
Medial Pertaining to the midline of the body or structure
Lateral Pertaining to a side
Superior (cephalad) Toward the head or upper portion of a structure
Inferior (caudal) Away from the head, or toward the tail or lower part of a structure
Proximal Nearer to the center (trunk of the body) or to the point of attachment to the body
Distal Further from the center (trunk of the body) or from the point of attachment to the body
Anterior (ventral) Front of the body
Posterior (dorsal) Back of the body
Parietal Pertaining to the out wall of the body cavity
Visceral Pertaining to the vescera, or internal organs, especially the abdominal organs
Prone Lying on the abdomen, face down
Supine Lying horizontally on the back, face up
Inversion Turning inward or inside out
Eversion Turning outward
Palmar Pertaining to the palm of the hand
Plantar Pertaining to the sole of the foot
Superficial Toward the surface of the body (external)
Deep Away from the surface of the body (internal)
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