Tuesday, February 22, 2011

ANATOMY: Useful Terminology

I’m taking 2 anatomy classes this semester and will be writing about it as I go, so to kick things off, here’s some vocabulary. A lot of this can be found on Wikipedia but it’s completely tl;dr. I’ll keep adding to this over time.

Anterior: front.
Posterior: back.
Superior: higher, so towards the head.
Inferior: lower.
Medial: inner, towards the center line (called the median, of all things).
Lateral: outer, away from the center.
Proximal:  the end of a limb/bone/part that is closer to the root (torso), such as the base of a finger.
Distal: the far end, further from the root (torso), such as the tip of a finger.

Dorsal: 2 uses. The top of the hand/foot, or the back.
Palmar: just like it sounds…the palm.
Plantar: bottom of the foot.

Flexion: movement that decreases the angle between two bones. As in flexing your bicep or bending your knee.
Extension: increases the angle between two bones. The triceps is an extensor.
Abduction: moves away from the centerline, like lifting your arm out (laterally).
Adduction: moves towards the centerline, like dropping those arms back down.
Pronation/Supination – These are forearm specific and have to do with the way it’s rotated.
Pronation: palm down or facing back (posterior).
Supination: palm up or forward-facing (anterior).
Tendon: connects muscle to bone.
Ligament: connects bone to bone.
Cartilage: like soft bone. Found in the nose, ears, between vertebrae and on and on and on.
Fascia: the saran wrap of the body. It’s found everywhere and basically holds things together.
Bones – Will be expanded, here are just some broad categories and examples.
Long Bones: femur, clavicle. For movement.
Short Bones: carpals. Limited movement.
Flat Bones: scapula, hip. Mostly protective.
Irregular Bones: vertebrae, patella, hyoid

Joints – I’ll expand this later. For now, these are the types.
Ball and Socket


  1. I never remember the names of the muscles.

  2. Huh, I definitely learned something new today..

  3. I hated learning all this in Human Bio haha

  4. hmm so all this is in me?! no, good post will be following ;)

  5. Learned some new things. If I remember them is another matter.

  6. This brings me back when I used to study sports at college! thanks for sharing!

  7. that's some remarkably helpful information. I occasionally like to pick up hike hikers and butcher them off the side of the road, but I never know what body part i'm sawing through and.. you know, sometimes I do a little amateur surgery on the hitchhiker, so again, this helps =D

  8. I'm gonna work in a hospital in autumn for about 4 weeks, so this is some worthful information.

  9. I will study to. thy for the vocabulary :)