proximal and distal

DISTAL – used to describe a part of the body further away from the midline than another part. Thus, the ankle is distal to the knee.
PROXIMAL – the opposite of distal. The elbow is proximal to the wrist.

In general anatomy, distal means situated away from the origin or point of attachment, or from the middle line of the body. It is specifically applied to the extremity or distant part of a limb or organ. For example, the fingers are the most distal portion of the arm in relation to the torso. The opposite of distal is proximal. See also surface anatomy.


In dental anatomy, distal describes the surface of a tooth furthest from the center of the dental arch.