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.
Review Date 6/13/2021
Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.