Anatomic plane terminology is used to describe the orientation of parts of the body. It is a standardised language that can be used by healthcare professionals, medical students and anatomists to accurately describe anatomical features within the body. In order for different practitioners to communicate effectively about anatomical structures, it is essential that they use the same terms in their discussion (Bleckwenn & Anderson, 2015). This review will provide an overview of some of the most common anatomic planes used in anatomy today.
The sagittal plane divides the body or structure into left and right portions; these are referred to as medial and lateral sides respectively (Goljan & Sloka, 2008). The term ‘sagittal’ originates from Latin meaning arrow-like shape which aptly describes this structure. Medial structures are located closer towards midline whereas lateral structures are further away from it; this also applies when describing directions within a particular region such as arm/leg movements. An example of this would be abduction which involves movement away from midline while adduction involves movement towards it (Stefanidis et al., 2016).
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