Surface Anatomy

Knowledge of the external anatomy and landmarks of the body is important in performing a physical examination and many other clinical procedures. For purposes of study, the body is divided into two major regions called the axial and appendicular regions. Smaller areas within the major regions are described in the following paragraphs and illustrated in figure A.5.

Axial Region

The axial region consists of the head, neck (cervical2 region), and trunk. The trunk is further divided into the

2cervic = neck thoracic region above the diaphragm and the abdominal region below it.

One way of referring to the locations of abdominal structures is to divide the region into quadrants. Two perpendicular lines intersecting at the umbilicus (navel) divide the abdomen into a right upper quadrant (RUQ), right lower quadrant (RLQ), left upper quadrant (LUQ), and left lower quadrant (LLQ) (fig. A.6a, b). The quadrant scheme is often used to describe the site of an abdominal pain or abnormality.

The abdomen also can be divided into nine regions defined by four lines that intersect like a tic-tac-toe grid (fig. A.6c, d). Each vertical line is called a midclavicular line because it passes through the midpoint of the clavicle (collarbone). The superior horizontal line is called the subcostal3 line because it connects the inferior borders of the lowest costal cartilages (cartilage connecting the tenth rib on each side to the inferior end of the sternum). The inferior horizontal line is called the intertubercular4 line because it passes from left to right between the tubercles (anterior superior spines) of the pelvis—two points of bone located about where the front pockets open on most pants. The three lateral regions of this grid, from upper to lower, are the hypochondriac,5 lateral (lumbar), and inguinal6 (iliac) regions. The three medial regions from upper to lower are the epigastric,7 umbilical, and hypogastric (pubic) regions.

4inter = between + tubercul = little swelling

5 hypo = below + chondr = cartilage

6inguin = groin

Saladin: Anatomy & Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function, Third Edition

Upper extremity:

Acromial r.-

(shoulder) Axillary r. (armpit) Brachial r. (arm)

Cubital r. (elbow)

Antebrachial r. (forearm)

Carpal r. (wrist)

Lower extremity: Coxal r. (hip) Patellar r. (knee)

Surface Marking The Thoracic Incision
(a)

Cephalic r. (head)

Cervical r. (neck)

Thoracic r. (chest): Sternal r. Pectoral r.

Umbilical r.

Abdominal r. Inguinal r. (groin) Pubic r.: Mons pubis External genitalia Penis Scrotum Testes

Lower extremity: Femoral r. (thigh)

Plantar surface (sole)

Pelvic Region Bone Surface Marking Surface Anatomy Buttocks Area

Nuchal r. (back of neck)

Interscapular r. Scapular r.

Tarsal r. Calcaneal r. (heel)

Cranial r.

Nuchal r. (back of neck)

Interscapular r. Scapular r.

Vertebral r.

Lumbar r. Sacral r.

Gluteal r. (buttock)

Dorsum of hand Perineal r. Femoral r.

Popliteal r.

Crural r.

Tarsal r. Calcaneal r. (heel)

Cranial r.

Popliteal r.

Crural r.

Anatomy Acromion Femoral Crural

Figure A.5 The Adult Female and Male Bodies. (a and fa) Ventral aspect (c and d) dorsal aspect (r. = region).

Saladin: Anatomy & Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function, Third Edition

34 Part One Organization of the Body

Surface Anatomy Abdomen

Figure A.6 Four Quadrants and Nine Regions of the Abdomen. (a) External division into four quadrants. (b) Internal anatomy correlated with the four quadrants.

Saladin: Anatomy & Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function, Third Edition

Atlas A General Orientation to Human Anatomy 35

Human Surface AnatomyAnatomical Division The Abdomen

Figure A.6 Four Quadrants and Nine Regions of the Abdomen (continued). (c) External division into nine regions. (d) Internal anatomy correlated with the nine regions.

Saladin: Anatomy & Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function, Third Edition

Atlas A General Orientation to Human Anatomy

Text

© The McGraw-H Companies, 2003

36 Part One Organization of the Body

Appendicular Region

The appendicular (AP-en-DIC-you-lur) region of the body consists of the appendages (also called limbs or extremities): the upper limbs and the lower limbs. The upper limb includes the brachium (BRAY-kee-um) (arm), antebrachium8 (AN-teh-BRAY-kee-um) (forearm), carpus (wrist), manus (hand), and digits (fingers). The lower limb includes the thigh, crus (leg), tarsus (ankle), pes (foot), and digits (toes).

In strict anatomical terms, "arm" refers only to that part of the upper limb between the shoulder and elbow. "Leg" refers only to that part of the lower limb between the knee and ankle.

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Responses

  • alicia
    What two planes intersect to divide the abdomen into four regions?
    7 years ago
  • justin
    Where is the interscapular region?
    7 years ago
  • ailie
    What is the crural of the body?
    7 years ago
  • ATHOS
    Where is the coxal area?
    7 years ago
  • Alicia
    What is in the nine anatomical division?
    7 years ago
  • lexie graham
    What is the name of the area between the pubis and the navel?
    6 years ago
  • ANACLETO BELLUCCI
    Where is the nuchal region?
    6 years ago
  • adriano nucci
    What is acromial and where is it located?
    6 years ago
  • fredegar
    What is the nuchal area?
    6 years ago
  • Aleksandra
    Where is the ventral surface of the upper limb?
    6 years ago
  • lydia boyle
    What is in all four quadrants of the abdominal cavity?
    5 years ago
  • shelby
    Where is the interscapular region on the body?
    5 years ago
  • elias
    Why is it importnat fornurse to divide the abdomen into regions and quadrants?
    5 years ago

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