In clinical practice it is essential to concisely and accurately describe the positions of the body, the relationships of organs, and the different movements available at joints. This will appear almost like a new language and it is worth studying the images in this section of the website to familiarise yourself with that language. Once learned, never forgotten, and essential for communication with colleagues.

The red box shows the direction of the axial plane which may also be called transverse or horizontal, and results in a cross-section of the body. Many CT images are shown in this plane, and studied from below upwards, as if you were looking up the length of your patient, from the foot of the hospital bed. Moving in this plane, up towards the head is still an axial section, but in a superior position, whereas the plane towards the feet is in a more inferior position.

Axial Plane

The white card shows the direction of the coronal plane. Moving in this plane, towards the front of the body is still in the coronal plane, but in an anterior position, whereas the plane towards the back is in a more posterior position. The anterior view, which may also be called ventral, shows Melanie standing in the Anatomical Position. The posterior surface may also be called dorsal.

Coronal Plane  









Move your mouse over this image to see the Anterior / Posterior views

The white card shows the median or sagittal plane. Moving to either side is taking a lateral position, in the para-sagittal plane.

Median Plane
With your mouse drag the white box to show the para-sagittal plane.

Click the picture for a link to an external website which offers some information about planes.