Medial means toward the middle or center. It is the opposite of lateral. The term is used to describe general positions of body parts. For example, the chest is medial to the arm.
Your health care provider may use this term to clearly explain the relationship between things found during a physical exam or on medical tests.
Drake RL, Vogl AW, Mitchell AWM. The body. In: Drake RL, Vogl AW, Mitchell AWM, eds. Gray's Atlas of Anatomy. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2015:chap 1.
Review Date 6/28/2018
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.