Anatomy is a science framed within the sciences of biology and medicine, which deals with the study of the structure and shape of living beings, analyzing the topography, location, and the relationship between all the organs that make up the animal and human bodies.
Anatomy can refer both to the physical structure of living beings, that is, the matter on which it is studied, or to the branch of biology that studies them, the area of knowledge that deals with the structures of living beings.
This is one of the first sciences developed; in fact, human anatomy is part of the basic – or preclinical – sciences of medicine. Despite its antiquity, over the years, anatomy has specialized and made its area of study more extensive and more precise. Today, within what we call anatomy, we can distinguish many other branches, from the most general, such as human anatomy and animal anatomy, to the more specific ones, such as developmental anatomy or radiological anatomy.
Among these divisions, we find the surface anatomy. Do you know what it is? The following article and FastlyHealwe explain the Definition of surface anatomy and its main characteristics.
Meaning of surface anatomy
Surface anatomy is the study of the relationships between the external structures of the body and the internal parts and organs of the body. This branch of anatomy is a subdivision of another more general category, macroscopic anatomy, whose function is to study organs and parts of the body without needing a microscope.
Surface anatomy is dedicated to analyzing the body’s surface, relating the anatomical accidents that may exist in it with the organs and internal body parts. Through this subdivision of knowledge, we can project structures of the human body, whether tendons, muscles, or bones on the surface, through the drawing of planes and lines that help us to identify them.
In short, topographic or surface anatomy projects the main internal anatomical structures on the external surface of the body through lines, thanks to which we can observe the correlation between one and the other systems to be able to analyze possible causes and consequences.
We call this external reflection of the internal structures anatomical projection; an example of this could be the following: if we observe the gluteal area, we will not be able to watch or palpate the sciatic nerve. Still, using an anatomical projection, we can superimpose it in the lower quadrants of that region.
In the superficial anatomical analysis, the protrusions and depressions of the body are observed, which are palpated and observed through the skin.
Other anatomical subdivisions
Below we will list some of the different subdivisions that we can find within the human anatomy:
- Systematic anatomy: Also called descriptive anatomy, it organizes the human body into systems and devices through its schematization and fractionation into minor parts.
- Regional anatomy: Study each body region individually and separately, studying it in-depth and all its aspects. If the thoracic area is checked, all parts are deepened: muscles, bones, nerves, vascularization, etc.
- Artistic anatomy: It is the one carried out by painters and sculptors; through this discipline, they study all the anatomical concepts that have to do with the artistic representation of the human body, such as the tension of the muscles depending on the posture, the anatomical changes that occur with age, or physical differences between different ethnic groups.
- Neuroanatomy: performs the study of the nervous system extensively.
- Clinical anatomy is based on studying the organic structure and its functions in medical situations. Although it is an anatomical subdivision, within this discipline, knowledge of other areas such as surgical, radiological, or morphogenetic anatomy is carried out.
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