Glossary of Terms


  1. Abduction- movement away from the axis or midline of the body or one of its parts.
  2. Adduction-movement toward the axis or midline of the body or one of its parts.
  3. Anterior- nearer to or at the front of the body. Also called ventral.
  4. Aphasia- loss of ability to express oneself properly through speech or loss of verbal comprehension.
  5. Ataxia- a lack of muscular coordination, lack of precision.
  6. Axilla- the small hollow beneath the arm where it joins the body at the shoulders. Also called the armpit.
  7. Back- the posterior part of the body; the dorsum.
  8. Bunion-lateral deviation of the great toe that produces inflammation and thickening of the bursa, bone spurs, and calluses.
  9. Calcaneous-heel
  10. Coccyx-the fused bones at the end of the vertebral column.
  11. Decubitus ulcer-tissue destruction due to a constant deficiency of blood to tissues overlying a bony projection that has been subjected to prolonged pressure against an object such as a bed, cast or splint. Also called a bedsore or pressure sore.
  12. Dermis- a layer of dense connective tissue lying deep to the epidermis; the true skin or corium.
  13. Distal- farther from the attachment of an extremity to the trunk or a structure; farther from the point of origin.
  14. Dorsal- Indicating a position toward a rear part. Opposed to ventral.
  15. Eczema- a skin rash characterized by itching, swelling, blistering, oozing and scaling of the skin.
  16. Epidermis- the outermost layer of the skin, composed of stratified squamous epithelium.
  17. Erythemia- skin redness usually caused by engorgement of the capillaries in the lower layers of the skin.
  18. Extension- an increase in the anterior angle between two bones, except in extension of the knee and toes, in which the posterior angle is involved; restoring a body part to its anatomical position after flexion.
  19. Fissure- a groove, fold, or slit that may be normal or abnormal
  20. Flexion-a folding movement in which there is a decrease in the angle between two bones anteriorly, except in flexion of the knee and toes, in which the bones are approximated posteriorly.
  21. Hallux- the great toe
  22. Hemiplegia- paralysis of the upper extremity, trunk, and lower extremity on one side of the body.
  23. Inferior-away from the head or toward the lower part of a structure.
  24. Lateral-farther from the midline of the body or a structure.
  25. Lesion- any localized, abnormal change in tissue formation.
  26. Lumbar-region of the back and side between the ribs and pelvis.
  27. Medial- nearer the midline of the body or a structure.
  28. Muscle-an organ composed of one of three types of muscle tissue (skeletal, cardiac, or visceral), specialized for contraction to produce voluntary or involuntary movement of parts of the body.
  29. Nail- a hard plate, composed largely of  keratin, that develops from the epidermis of the skin to form a protective covering on the dorsal surface of the distal phalanges of the fingers and toes.
  30. Necrosis-death of a cell or group of cells as a result of disease or injury.
  31. Paraplegia-paralysis of both lower extremities.
  32. Pelvis- the baseline structure formed by the two pelvic(hip) bones, the sacrum, and the coccyx.
  33. Peripheral- located on the outer part or a surface of the body.
  34. Phalanges- bones of a finger or toe.
  35. Proximal- nearer the attachment of an extremity to the trunk or a structure, nearer to the point of origin.
  36. Psoriasis-chronic skin disease characterized by reddish plaques or papules covered with scales.
  37. Pus-the liquid product of inflammation containing leukocytes or their remains and debris of dead cells.
  38. Quadriplegia-paralysis of the two upper and two lower extremities.
  39. Subcutaneous-beneath the skin, also called hypodermic.
  40. Subcutaneous layer- a continuous sheet of loose connective tissue and adipose tissue between the dermis of the skin and the deep fascia of the muscles.
  41. Superficial-located on or near the surface of the body.
  42. Ulcer- an open lesion of the skin or a mucous membrane of the body with loss of substance and necrosis of the tissue.