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Chapter 05, MedTerms

Body Structure

anterior (ventral) toward or at the front (belly) of the body
posterior (dorsal) toward or at the back (dorsum) of the body
medial toward the midline of the body
lateral toward the side of the body
proximal nearer to the point of attachment or to a given reference point
distal farther from the point of attachment or from a given reference point
superior above, in a higher position
inferior below, in a lower position
cranial (cephalad) toward the head
caudal toward the lower end of the spine (Latin cauda means "tail"); in humans, in an inferior direction
superficial (external) closer to the surface of the body
deep (internal) closer to the center of the body
frontal (coronal) plane made at right angles to the midline and divides the body into anterior and posterior parts
sagittal plane passes from front to back and divides the body into right and left portions; if the plane passes through the midline, it is a midsagittal or medial plane
transverse (horizontal) plane passes horizontally, dividing the body into superior and inferior parts
anatomic position standing erect, facing forward, arms at sides, palms forward, legs parallel, toes pointed forward; used for descriptions and studies of the body
decubitus position lying down, specifically according to the part of the body resting on a flat surface, as in left or right lateral decubitus, or dorsal or ventral decubitus
dorsal recumbent position on back, with legs bent and separated, feet flat; used for obstetrics and gynecology
Fowler position on back, head of bed raised about 18 inches, knees elevated; used to ease breathing and for drainage
jackknife position on back with shoulders elevated, legs flexed and thighs at right angles to the abdomen; used to introduce a tube into the urethra
knee-chest position on knees, head and upper chest on table, arms crossed above head; used in gynecology and obstetrics and for flushing the intestine
lateral recumbent position on the side with one leg flexed, arm position may vary
lithotomy position on back, legs flexed on abdomen, thighs apart; used for gynecologic and urologic surgery
prone lying face down
Sims position on left side, right leg drawn up high and forward, left arm along back, chest forward resting on bed; used for kidney and uterine surgery, colon examination, and enemas
supine lying face up
Trendelenburg position on back with head lowered by tilting bed back at 45-degree angle; used for pelvic and abdominal surgery, treatment of shock
abdominal cavity The large ventral cavity below the diaphragm and above the pelvic cavity
abdominopelvic cavity The large ventral cavity between the diaphragm and pelvis that includes the abdominal and pelvic cavities
cranial cavity The dorsal cavity that contains the brain
diaphragm The muscle that separates the thoracic from the abdominal cavity
pelvic cavity The ventral cavity that is below the abdominal cavity
peritoneum The large serous membrane that lines the abdominopelvic cavity and covers the organs within it
spinal cavity (canal) Dorsal cavity that contains the spinal cord
thoracic cavity The ventral cavity above the diaphragm, the chest cavity
cephal/o head
cervic/o neck
thorac/o chest, thorax
abdomin/o abdomen
celi/o abdomen
lapar/o abdominal wall
lumb/o lumbar region, lower back
periton, peritone/o peritoneum
acro extremity, end
brachi/o arm
dactyl/o finger, toe
ped/o foot
pod/o foot
circum- around
peri- around
intra- in, within
epi- on, over
extra- outside
infra- below
sub- below, under
inter- between
juxta- near, beside
para- near, beside
retro- behind, backward
supra- above
digit A finger or toe (adjective: digital)
epigastrium The epigastric region
fundus The base or body of a hollow organ, the area of an organ farthest from its opening
hypochondrium The hypochondriac region (left or right)
lumen The central opening within a tube or hollow organ
meatus A passage or opening
orifice The opening of a cavity
os Mouth, any body opening
septum A wall dividing two cavities
sinus A cavity, as within a bone
sphincter A circular muscle that regulates an opening
LLQ Left lower quadrant
LUQ Left upper quadrant
RLQ Right lower quadrant
RUQ Right upper quadrant
epigastric region located above the stomach
umbilical region named for the umbilicus, or navel
hypogastric region located below the stomach
hypochondriac regions right and left, named for their positions near the ribs, specifically near the cartilages (root: chondr/o) of the ribs
lumbar regions right and left, which are located near the small of the back (lumbar region of the spine)
iliac regions right and left, named for the upper bone of the hip, the ilium; also called the inguinal regions, with reference to the groin
cephalic head
cranial skull
facial face
frontal forehead
ocular eye
oral mouth
mammary breast
thoracic chest
axillary armpit
brachial arm
antecubital inner elbow
umbilical navel
antebrachial forearm
inguinal groin
pubic pubis
carpal wrist
manual hand
palmar palm
phalangeal fingers, toes
femoral thigh
patellar kneecap
crural leg
tarsal ankle
pedal foot
parietal crown
occipital base of skull
cervical neck
acromial shoulder
deltoid lateral shoulder
scapular shoulder blade
lumbar small of back
lateral abdominal flank
sacral sacrum
iliac hip
gluteal buttock
popliteal back of knee
sural calf
calcaneal heel
plantar sole of foot
Created by: SeedyVampire
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