Very Basic Anatomy (for n00bs)

12 Jan

Because my old anatomy class expired, my school forces all of us who had an old one to take it over again. No problem, it’s just remembering old things but I see a lot of folk  struggling with things. Maybe these little sayings/thoughts will help with remembering the very, very, basic of surface anatomy for you too?

They’re not the most serious but I at least remember things that make me laugh easier! Not all have some clever thing, some are just “this = this” but that still can help. So here we go, starting from the HEAD to TOE! Always work downwards and in order, it’ll help you remember.

First the head to the shoulders…

  1. CEPHALIC is a-HEAD of the others
  2. You lay your OCCIPITAL on your pillow at night (back of the head)
  3. ORBITAL is round like the EYES
  4. OTIC = ear. Get OTIC drops for an ear ache (ear ache and otic sound a bit alike. Hey helps me remember!)
  5. You use NASAL decongestant to unstuff the NOSE
  6. It hurts if you bite the BUCCAL part of your mouth (cheek)
  7. ORAL = mouth
  9. Hang a NECKlace around your CERVICAL region
  10. ACROMIAL = shoulder
  11. Put deodorent on the AXILLIARY area (armpit)
  12. People break their arm or BRACHIAL
  13. ANTEBRACHIAL = forearm. Ants have to climb your forearm first…
  14. ANTECUBITAL =inner elbow. Think of the hallow there as a CUBICAL to remember cubital. The actual ELBOW is CUBITAL and it’s slightly square like a cubical too.
  15. Wear a WRIST brace if your CARPAL hurts
  16. See the PALM in PALMER
  17. You use your FINGERS on DIGITAL devices

Lets go over to the torso now!

  1. Don’t confuse MAMMARY with PECTORAL. Mammary is on top (the breasts) while Pectoral is the whole chest area under it.
  2. Men with ties look stern. The STERNAL area is under that tie!
  3. Sit ups tone ABDOMINALS (Everybody knows this one right?)
  4. UMBILICAL = naval, “belly button”
  5. INGUINAL; see the G? It’s for GROIN
  6. You can cock your COXAL (hip) area to be sassy
  7. GENITAL region is usually covered by your jeans when in public.

Down further to the legs…

  1. FEMORAL = thigh. Females with  morals keep their thighs together  (whatever helps you remember)
  2. PATELLER = knee (think of knee pads to remember) POPLITEAL = back of knee (both part with P) You PAT the front of your knee. The back part of the knee is “little” (sounds like “liteal” doesn’t it?)
  3. CRURAL and SURAL = lower leg. Crural is the front (it C’s a head) and Sural is the back of the calf (it sulks behind). Hardly anybody uses these terms but know them anyway.
  4. TARSAL = ankel (say them outloud, they sound alike)
  5. CALCANEAL = rhymes with HEEL (which it is)
  6. PEDAL =Foot; you put the pedal to the metal with your foot don’t you?
  7. PLANTAR = bottom of foot; “Plant your feet on the ground”

Lets go back up to the back!

  1. VERTEBRAL = spine
  2. DORSUM = back; dolphins have dorsal fins on their backs
  3. LUMBAR = lower back; limber up your lower back
  4. SACRAL = tail bone
  5. PERINAL = area between anus and genitalia; the American slang for that would be “taint”. Can you remember that? I think you can. Just don’t say that to a patient or put it on a test!!
  6. GLUTEAL = buttocks; many people are glued to the couch by their behinds while watching TV.

Now go learn it and keep in mind that when you’re talking to a person and you ask them if their femoral area hurts…expect a blank look. Medical jargon is for other medical people. Plain English is for patients. Some people might get mighty angry if you ask them if you can palpate their sural (Calf) area because they may think that’s something else that kind of sounds like that.


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