- In skeletal anatomy, "radial" refers to the radius, the smaller of the two bones on the thumb side of the forearm. (The bigger bone in the forearm is the ulna). In ophthalmology, a radial keratotomy is a procedure in which incisions (cuts) are made in the cornea to correct nearsightedness (myopia). The procedure is said to be radial because the incisions resemble the spokes in a bicycle wheel. The word "radial" comes from the Latin "radius" meaning a spoke in a wheel which this bone was thought to resemble. The word "radiation" is derived from the same Latin word — "radius."
* * *1. Relating to the radius (bone of the forearm), to any structures named from it, or to the r. or lateral aspect of the upper limb as compared to the ulnar or medial aspect. SYN: radialis [TA]. 2. Relating to any radius. 3. Radiating; diverging in all directions from any given center. [L. radialis, fr. radius, ray, lateral bone of the forearm]
* * *ra·di·al 'rād-ē-əl adj1) arranged or having parts arranged like rays2) of, relating to, or situated near the radius or the thumb side of the hand or forearm <the \radial aspect of the hand>3) developing uniformly around a central axis <\radial cleavage of an egg>ra·di·al·ly -ē-ə-lē advradial n a body part (as an artery) lying near or following the course of the radius
* * *adj.relating to or associated with the radius (a bone in the forearm).
* * *ra·di·al (raґde-əl) [L. radialis] 1. pertaining to a radius. 2. pertaining to the lateral aspect of the forearm as opposed to the medial (ulnar) aspect. 3. radiating; spreading outward from a common center.
Medical dictionary. 2011.