Supine position

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The supine position is a position of the body; lying down with the face up, as opposed to the prone position, which is face down.

Using terms defined in the anatomical position, the posterior is down and anterior is up.
Using layman's terms, this is simply lying on your back staring upwards.

A person in the supine position

Knee examination

During a knee examination there are several tests done while the patient is in the supine position:

  • Masses
  • Scars
  • Lesions
  • Signs of trauma/previous surgery
  • Swelling (edema — particular in the medial fossa (the depression medial to the patella)
  • erythema (redness)
  • Muscle bulk and symmetry (in particular atrophy of the medial aspect of the quadriceps muscle — vastus medialis)
  • Displacement of the patella (knee cap)

Other examinations

The supine position is also used for other examinations including an internal autopsy, palpitation and auscultation of the abdominal organs, and cardiovascular assessment.

See also


supine position

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