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Anatomical Terms


anatomical position The starting point for all anatomical descriptions. - standing erect - arms slightly out to side - palms forward and thumbs out - feet slightly apart - feet parallel
anterior The front surface of the body or toward the front of the body
superior Above or toward the top
posterior The back surface of the body or toward the back of the body
inferior Below or toward the bottom
medial Toward the midline
lateral Away from the midline
superficial The surface of the body or toward the surface of the body
frontal plane A vertical plane that divides the body into front and back
sagittal plane A vertical plane that bisects the body into right and left halves
transverse plane A horizontal plane that bisects the body into top and bottom
centre of gravity The point at which the transverse, sagittal and frontal planes meet
horizontal axis An imaginary horizontal line that runs from side to side
longitudinal axis An imaginary vertical line that runs from head to toe
antero-posterior axis An imaginary horizontal line that runs from front to back
flexion Decreases the angle between 2 bones at a joint
extension Increases the angle between 2 bones at a joint
adduction Moving a segment toward the midline
abduction Moving a segment away from the midline
medial rotation Rotation toward midline
lateral rotation Rotation away from midline
supine Lying on your back
prone Lying on your front
deep The inside of the body or away from the surface of the body
proximal Toward the point of attachment of the limb to the body
distal Away from the point of attachment of the limb to the body
Created by: pamela.cole
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