Cheat Sheet

Clinical Anatomy For Dummies

From Clinical Anatomy For Dummies by David Terfera, Shereen Jegtvig

Clinical anatomy is all about how the parts of the human body relate to a clinical practice. Certainly all the organs and structures of the body are important, but some are especially crucial in the different regions of the body: the thorax, abdomen, pelvis, head, neck, back, upper extremities, and lower extremities.

Some Clinical Anatomy Highlights of the Thorax, Abdomen, and Pelvis

Three regions make up the trunk of the body: the thorax, the abdomen, and the pelvis. Why is it important to know the clinical anatomy of these regions? The bones, muscles, organs, and other tissues found here work constantly to provide the rest of the body with oxygen and energy, and they also eliminate waste.

Following are the clinical anatomy highlights of the thorax:

  • Thoracic cage (also known as the rib cage)

  • Breast tissue and nipples

  • Mediastinum (central compartment) and lungs

  • Heart

Here are the main features of the abdomen:

  • Abdominal wall

  • Stomach

  • Small intestine

  • Colon

  • Liver

  • Gallbladder

  • Pancreas

  • Kidneys

  • Ureters

  • Spleen

Following are the main parts of the pelvis:

  • Pelvic girdle

  • Perineum (area between the upper thighs)

  • Urinary bladder

  • Urethra

  • Penis

  • Scrotum

  • Testicles

  • Uterus

  • Uterine (Fallopian) tubes

  • Ovaries

  • Vagina

  • Rectum

  • Anus

Important Clinical Anatomy of the Head, Neck, and Back

The clinical anatomy of the head, neck, and back is important to know because the structures located here allow you to think, speak, see, hear, taste, and smell. The head, neck, and back also house the nervous system control center that’s in charge of everything that happens in the body.

Here’s what you find in the head:

  • Cranium

  • Facial bones

  • Brain

  • Meninges (brain coverings)

  • Pituitary gland

  • Cranial nerves

  • Scalp

  • Eyes

  • Nose and nasal cavity

  • Mouth and oral cavity

  • Ears

Here are the features of the neck:

  • Sternocleidomastoid muscle (main muscle in the front of the neck)

  • Thyroid gland

  • Parathyroid glands (glands that control calcium levels in the blood and bones)

  • Larynx

  • Pharynx

  • Trachea

And following are the main parts of the back:

  • Vertebrae

  • Spinal cord

  • Spinal nerve roots

Crucial Clinical Anatomy of the Upper and Lower Extremities

The upper extremities and lower extremities are just fancy names for the arms and the legs. Knowing the clinical anatomy of these structures is important because your future patients need arms and legs to get from place to place and pick up things when they get there.

Following are the main features of the upper extremities:

  • Shoulder girdle

  • Humerus (upper arm bone)

  • Radius (forearm bone)

  • Ulna (another forearm bone)

  • Carpal bones (wrist bones)

  • Metacarpals and phalanges (hand and finger bones)

  • Shoulder joint

  • Elbow joint

  • Wrist joint

Here are the parts of the lower extremities that you need to know:

  • Femur (thigh bone)

  • Tibia (leg bone)

  • Fibula (the other leg bone)

  • Tarsal bones (ankle bones)

  • Metatarsals and phalanges (foot and toe bones)

  • Hip joint

  • Knee joint

  • Ankle joint

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