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Anatomy Glossary

Many words used in the medical profession have specialized meanings. We know it can be difficult to learn the concepts of anatomy if you don’t know what some anatomical terms mean.

That’s why we have compiled an anatomy glossary which explains each topic in layman’s language, making it easier to understand.


The Head is the globe shaped ,topmost portion of the body, that consists of the skull, brain and sensory organs that includes , eyes that allows to have a vision, ears for sensing sounds and maintaining equilibrium (balance), nose that identifies and senses various types of smell, and tongue that identifies and senses tastes. The head also provides openings for respiratory and digestive systems, that also acts as a starting point. The head can be divided into two portions, which are the cranium and the face.

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Neck is a cylindrical part that joins the head to the trunk (Thorax). It mechanically, physically and functionally supports head. The weight, connections and movements of the head are supported by the neck.
The neck is split into the 4 regions – Anterior region, Right lateral region, Left lateral region and Posterior region (nucha).

The neck is conventionally split into different triangles. The sternocleidomastoid muscle transects the side of neck obliquely on every side and splits it into anterior and posterior cervical triangles.

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The upper limb is the organ of the body, responsible for manual activities. It is freely movable, especially its distal segment—the hand, which is adapted for grasping and manipulating the objects.

It’s suspended from the trunk by muscles and a small skeletal articulation between the clavicle and the sternum – the sternoclavicular joint. Based upon the position of it’s major joints and component bones, the upper limb is split into shoulder, arm, forearm, and hand.

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The Thorax is the upper part of trunk, which extends from root of the neck to the abdomen. In general usage, the termmchest is used as a synonym for thorax. The cavity of trunk is divided by the diaphragm into an upper part called thoracic cavity and the lower part called the abdominal cavity.

The Thoracic cavity contains the principal organs of respiration– the lungs, which are separated from each other by bulky and movable median septum – the mediastinum. The principal structures in the mediastinum areheart and great vessels.

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The abdomen is the lower part of the trunk below the diaphragm. Its walls surround a large cavity called the abdominal cavity. The abdominal cavity is much more extensive than what it appears from the outside. It extends upward deep to the costal margin up to the diaphragm and downward within the bony pelvis. Thus, a considerable part of the abdominal cavity is overlapped by the lower part of the thoracic cage above and by the bony pelvis below.

The abdominal cavity is subdivided by the plane of the pelvic inlet into a larger upper part, i.e., the abdominal cavity proper, and a smaller lower part, i.e., the pelvic cavity. Clinically the term abdominal cavity stands for abdominal cavity proper and thus we have separated Abdomen and Pelvis altogether for better understanding.

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The term “pelvis” literally means a basin. It is made up of four bones: two hip (innominate) bones, sacrum, and coccyx, bound to each other by the ligaments.

It contains the pelvic viscera (urinary bladder and rectum in both sexes and uterus in female) and protects them.

It supports the weight of the body and transmits it to the lower limbs successively through sacrum, sacroiliac joints, innominate bones, and then to femora in the standing position, and ischial tuberosities in the sitting position.

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lower limb

The lower limbs/extremities of the body are specialized for transmission of body weight and locomotion.

For illustrative purposes, the lower limb is split into 6 parts or regions – Gluteal region, Thigh or femoral region, Knee or knee region, Leg or leg region, Ankle or talocrural region, Foot or foot region.

There are 32 bones found in the lower limb – hip bone (1), femur (1), patella (1), tibia (1), fibula (1), tarsals (8), metatarsals (5), proximal phalanges (5), intermediate phalanges (5), and distal phalanges (4)

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