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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.

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Review Date 8/17/2014

Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.