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MEDICAL TERMS

Medical Terms that are commonly found in patient medical records

Anterior: Situated on the front surface of the body; ventral.

Bilateral: On both sides, having two sides.
Caudal: Denoting the lower half of the body; inferior.
Contraction: A shortening and/or tensioning of muscle tissue.
Coronal: Pertaining to an imaginary longitudinal plane at right angle to the medial plane and dividing the body into ventral and dorsal components.
Cranial: Denoting the upper half of the body; nearer the head, relating to the head; superior.
Diaphysis: The shaft portion of long bones, between the ends or extremities (epiphyses).
Distal: Situated away from the center of the body, usually applied to the extremity or most distant part of a limb or organ.
Dorsal: Situated on the back surface of the body; back of the hand; top surface of the foot; posterior.
Epiphysis: The end, or extremity, of a long bone.
Extension: The movement that brings a limb into a forward or straight position.
Fascia: The fibrous sheet enveloping the body underneath the skin.
Flexion: The bending of a joint; a joint in the position of being bent.
Inferior: Situated below the center of the body or directly downward, nearer the feet; caudal.
Joint: The junction between two or more bones of the body, and classified as fibrous (i.e., sutures of skull), cartilaginous (i.e., intervertebral discs), and synovial (i.e., elbow).
Lateral: On the side, farther from the median or midsagittal plane.
Medial: Relating to the middle or center, nearer the midsagittal plane.
Midsagittal: An imaginary plane starting at the top of the head, running down through the center of the nose, etc., and dividing the body vertically into two halves, left and right.
Muscle: The movement producing material of the body; consisting of three types: skeletal (voluntary control and having two attachments, an origin and an insertion); cardiac (the myocardium forming the middle of the heart, contracts spontaneously); smooth muscle (generally two-layered, circular and longitudinal, and found in walls of many visceral organs, and contracts rhythmically).
Oblique: Slanting; inclined; a plane between horizontal and vertical.
Palmar: Referring to the palm of the hand.
Plantar: Referring to the sole of the foot.
Posterior: Denoting the back surface of the body; dorsal.
Proximal: Nearer the trunk or center of the body; usually applied to closest part of a limb or organ.
Relaxation: A lessening of muscle tension.
Sagittal: A plane or section parallel to the medial plane, usually identified as left or right of medial sagittal.
Sesamoid: Small bones embedded in tendons or joints, principally the hands and feet.
Superior: Situated above the center of the body or directly upwards; closer to the head; cranial.
Transverse: Lying across the long axis of the body or organ.
Unilateral: Confined to one side only.
Ventral: Pertaining to the belly or front surface of the body; anterior.

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