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Positioning and Anatomical Terminology

Dr. Paul Fenno

Terminology relating to x-ray positioning and describing the relative locations of anatomical structures within the body.

Inferior Movement of a joint or structure away from the midline/Mid-Sagittal Plane.
Osteo Movement of a joint or structure towards the midline/Mid-Sagittal Plane.
Extension Toward the feet.
Proximal Prefix: "between"
Anterior-Posterior To turn the plantar surface of the foot away from the midline.
Decubitis The anterior surface of the hand.
Superior Toward the midline.
Articulation The use of a restricting device that can be adjusted to change the size of the primary x-ray beam field.
Epi Toward the front surface of the body.
Oblique The center of the x-ray beam.
Posterior Away from the midline/Mid-Sagittal Plane.
Inversion Toward the head.
Pariental Above
Pronation Toward the back surface of the body.
Tube Tilt Closer to the point of origin.
Supination To turn to palm(s) of the hand(s) forward/anteriorly in anotomical position.
Supine Prefix: "above" or "upon"
Palmar To turn the plantar surface of the foot towards the midline.
Adduction Prefix: "bone"
Abduction When an individual is lying down on their back/posterior surface.
Prone Projection at an angle other than perpendicular or horizontal.
Anatomical Position Below
Bilateral Used to describe that an individual is recumbent during a "cross-table" x-ray projection.
Distal Positioned at an angle other than perpendicular or horizontal.
Collimation To increase the angle of a joint -OR- to seperate the two or more bones associated with that joint.
Visceral Having or being located on both the right and left sides.
Contralateral Refers to an association with internal organs.
Eversion The sole or bottom of the foot(feet).
Cephalic Tilting of the x-ray tube/beam at an angle other than that which is perpendicular to the structure of interest.
Lateral Where two or more bones come together to form a joint.
Plantar To decrease the angle of a joint -OR- to approximate the two or more bones associated with that joint.
Flexion To turn the palm of the hand down or backward/posteriorly from anatomical position.
Recumbant Further from the point of origin.
Central Ray When an individual is standing erect, eyes looking forward, arms are extended at the elbows and held at their sides, and the palms are facing anteriorly.
Anterior Refers to an association with the "wall" of a body cavity.
Sub Prefix: "Below"
Axial When an individual is lying down on their stomach/front/anterior surface.
Medial General term for an individual lying down.
Caudal Pertaining to the opposite side.
Inter An x-ray projection that is directed from the anterior surface towards the posterior surface.

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