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Basic Anatomy Vocab Terms

Anterior

Front / Before

Ventral

Belly side (equivalent to anterior when referring to human body)

Posterior

Back / Behind

Dorsal

The Back (equivalent to posterior when referring to human body)

Cranial / Cephalic

Toward the Head

Superior

Above, at a higher level (in human body, towards the head)

Caudal

Toward the tail (coccyx in humans)

Inferior

Below, at a lower level (in human body, towards the feet)

Medial

Toward the midline (the longitudal axis of the body)

Lateral

Away from the midline (away from the long axis)

Proximal

Toward an attached bone

Distal

Away from an attached base

Superficial

At, near, or relatively close to the body surface

Deep

Toward the inferior of the body, farther from the surface

Sagittal Plane

Divides body in half parallel to the long axis (MRI)

Transverse Plane

Cross-section, Divides body in half at a right angle to long axis (MRI, CT)

Coronal Plane

Frontal Plane, Parallel with the longitudinal axis of the body and divides the body in anterior and posterior parts

Circumduction

Portion of the object remains stationary while the object held at an angle less than 90 degrees makes a complete circle

Rotation

A tip or part of an object remains stationary while the angle of the shaft remains unchanged as the shaft spins around its longitudinal axis

Abduction

Movement away from the longitudinal axis of the body in the frontal plane. Example; Arm moving away from body

Adduction

Movement towards the longitudinal axis of the body in the front plane. (think adding to body) Example; Arm moving towards body.

Flexion

Movement in the anterior and posterior plane that reduces the angle between the articulating joints. Example; Head bending forward

Extension

Movement in the anterior and posterior plane that increases the angle between the articulating joints. Example; Heading bending backward.

Internal Rotation

Medial Rotation, Limb rotates inward, toward the ventral surface of the body

External Rotation

Lateral Rotation, Limb rotates outward, toward the posterior surface of the body

Pronation

The motion of the wrist and palm to face downward

Supination

The motion of the wrist and palm to face upward

Eversion

Refers to the ankle, twisting motion of the foot that turns the sole outward

Inversion

Refers to the ankle, twisting motion of the foot that turns the sole of the foot inward.

Dorsiflexion

Ankle flexion that elevates the distal portion of the foot and toes toward the leg. Excludes toe movements

Plantar Flexion

Ankle extension that elevates the heel and proximal portion of the foot. Excludes toe movements

Lateral Flexion

Specific movement that cause the vertebral column to bend side to side

Protraction

Moving a part of the body anterior in the horizontal plane. Example; head coming forward

Retraction

Moving a part of the body posteriorly in the horizontal plane. Example; head moving back

a

= without

Adeno

= gland

Arthro

= joint

Brachi

= arm

Chondro

= cartilage

End / endo

= inside

Infra

= beneath / below

Inter

= between

Intra

= within

Itis

= inflammation

Hepato

= liver

Histo

= tissue

Myo

= muscle

Neur / Neuro

= nerve

Odont

= tooth

Oligo

= few / little

Oma

= swelling

Peri

= around

Supra

= above

Tomy

= to cut

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