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Directional Terms

TermDefinition
Anterior Describes the front or direction toward the front of the body. The toes are anterior to the foot.
Posterior Describes the back or direction toward the back of the body. The popliteus is posterior to the patella.
Superior Describes a position above or higher than another part of the body proper. The orbits are superior to the oris.
Inferior Describes a position below or lower than another part of the body proper; near or toward the tail (in humans, the coccyx, or lowest part of the spinal column). The pelvis is inferior to the abdomen.
Lateral Describes the side or direction toward the side of the body. The thumb (pollex) is lateral to the digits.
Medial Describes the middle or direction toward the middle of the body. The hallux is the medial toe.
Proximal Describes a position in a limb that is nearer to the point of attachment or the trunk of the body. The brachium is proximal to the antebrachium.
Distal Describes a position in a limb that is farther from the point of attachment or the trunk of the body. The crus is distal to the femur.
Superficial Describes a position closer to the surface of the body. The skin is superficial to the bones.
Deep Describes a position farther from the surface of the body. The brain is deep to the skull.
Created by: Dr.D
 

 



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