Q:

Is the knee proximal to the ankle?

A:

Quick Answer

The knee is proximal to the ankle, and the ankle is distal to the knee. Proximal and distal are both anatomical words of location. Proximal means nearer to the point at which the structure originates or attaches, while distal means further from those points.

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Full Answer

The knee is proximal to the ankle because it is closer to the point at which the leg attaches to the trunk of the body. Similarly, the elbow is proximal to the wrist because it is closer to the point at which the arm attaches to the trunk of the body. Other examples of anatomical words of location are "dorsal," which refers to the back of a body, and "ventral," which refers to the front side.

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