Sagittal Plane

Last Updated: July 15, 2018

Definition - What does Sagittal Plane mean?

The sagittal plane in anatomy refers to an imaginary divider that splits the body, or a body part, vertically. The sagittal plane is parallel to the median plane, which separates the whole of the body vertically into two equal parts. Terms such as this help health care professionals pinpoint injuries during treatment and allow ergonomists to be specific when designing worksites in realation to what parts of the body are at risk for injury from a speiicf duty. A sagittal plane is sometimes referred to as a parasagittal plane.

WorkplaceTesting explains Sagittal Plane

The sagittal plane is one of several theoretical flat geometric surfaces used to provide directional guidance when describing the human body. It is an anatomical directional term. Sagittal planes create vertical divisions, resulting in a right and left side. The median, or medial, plane is sometimes called the midsagittal plane. This centered sagittal plane divides the body equally.

Confusion may arise on occasion due to the use of sagittal to describe both the medial plane that passes through the body's midline and parasagittal planes that run parallel to this precise plane.

In practice, if a plane is described as sagittal and is not referring to the division of the entire body into left and right sides along the midline (the medial plane), then it should not be assumed that the division results in two equal parts. For instance, in examining an organ using MRI, several scans may be created in distinct sections along different sagittal planes.

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