The Language of AnatomyLearning about the body is exciting, but our interest sometimes dwindles when we are confronted with the terminology of anatomy and physiology. Let’s face it. You can’t just pick up an anatomy and physiology book and read it as though it were anovel. Unfortunately, confusion is inevitable without specialized terminology. For example, if you are looking at a ball, “above” always means the area over the top of the ball. Other directional terms can also be used consistently because the ball is a sphere. All sides and surfaces are equal. The human body, of course, has many protrusions and bends. Thus, the question becomes: Above what? To prevent misunderstanding, anatomists have accepted a set of terms that allow body structures to be located and identified clearly with just a few words. This language of anatomy is presented and explained next.Anatomical Position and Directional Terms
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