Lateral

Lateral means to the side of, or away from, the middle of the body.

Examples:

  • The ears are lateral to the nose.
  • The arms are lateral to the chest.
Anatomical landmarks - side view

There are three body views (front, back and side) that may be helpful if you are uncertain of a body area. Many areas are referred to by both descriptive and technical names. For example, the back of the knee is called the popliteal fossa. However, areas like the flank may not have both names, so the location may be unclear.

Lateral orientation

A lateral orientation is a position away from the midline of the body. For instance, the arms are lateral to the chest, and the ears are lateral to the head. A medial orientation is a position toward the midline of the body. An example of medial orientation is the eyes, which are medial to the ears on the head.