Medical Terminology Daily (MTD) is a blog sponsored by Clinical Anatomy Associates, Inc. as a service to the medical community. We post anatomical, medical or surgical terms, their meaning and usage, as well as biographical notes on anatomists, surgeons, and researchers through the ages. Be warned that some of the images used depict human anatomical specimens.

You are welcome to submit questions and suggestions using our "Contact Us" form. The information on this blog follows the terms on our "Privacy and Security Statement" and cannot be construed as medical guidance or instructions for treatment.

We have 222 guests online

A Moment in History

Jean-Louis Petit

Jean Louis Petit
(1674 – 1750)

French surgeon and anatomist, Jean Louis Petit was born in Paris in on March 13, 1674.  His family rented an apartment at his house to Alexis Littre (1658 – 1726), a French anatomist. Petit became an apprentice of Littre at seven years of age, helping him in the dissections for his lectures and at an early age became the assistant in charge of the anatomic amphitheater.

Because of Petit’s dedication to anatomy and medicine, in 1690 at the age of sixteen, became a disciple of a famous Paris surgeon, Castel.

In 1692, Petit entered the French army and performed surgery in two military campaigns. By 1693 he started delivering lectures and was accepted as a great surgeon, being invited to the most difficult operations.  In 1700 he was appointed Chief Surgeon of the Military School in Paris and in the same year he received the degree of Master of Surgery from the Faculty of Paris.

In 1715 he was made a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and an honorary member of the Royal Society of London. He was appointed by the King as the first Director General of the Royal Academy of Surgery when it was founded in 1731.

Petit’s written works are of historical importance.  “Traite des Maladies des Os” ( A Treatise on Bone Diseases);  “Traite des Maladies Chirurgicales et des Operation” (A Treatise on Surgical Diseases and their Operations” This last book was published posthumously in 1774. He also published a monograph on hemorrhage, another on lachrymal fistula, and others.

He was one of the first to perform choIecystotomy and mastoidotomy. His original tourniquet design for amputations saved many in the battlefield and the design of the same surgical instrument today has not changed much since its invention by him.

His name is remembered in the lumbar triangle, also called the "triangle of Petit", and the abdominal hernia that can ensue through that area of weakness, the lumbar hernia or "Petit's hernia".

1. “Jean Louis Petit – A Sketch of his Life, Character, and Writings” Hayne, AP San Fran Western Lancet 1875 4: 446-454
2. “Oeuvres compl?tes de Jean-Louis Petit” 1837 Imprimerie de F. Chapoulaud
3. Extraits de l'eloge de Jean-Louis Petit Ius dans Ia seance publique de I' Academie royale de chirurgie du 26 mai 1750” Louis A. Chirurgie 2001: 126 : 475- 81

 "Clinical Anatomy Associates, Inc., and the contributors of "Medical Terminology Daily" wish to thank all individuals who donate their bodies and tissues for the advancement of education and research”.

Click here for more information

abebooks banner




Omohyoid muscle - Image modified from the original. Public domain
Omohyoid muscle.
Click on the image for a larger depiction

The omohyoid also known as the musculus omohyoideus is the most lateral of the infrahyoid muscles, the others being the sternohyoid, sternothyroid, and thyroid muscles.The omohyoid is a long muscle formed by two muscular bellies (superior and inferior) and an intermediate tendon.

The inferior belly originates from the superior margin of the scapula, near the superior transverse ligament of the scapula. Sometimes, as a variation, the tendon of the inferior belly originates directly from this ligament. The inferior belly passes medially, posteriorly, and slightly superiorly towards the intermediate tendon. The medial aspect of this belly is deep to the trapezius muscle.

The intermediate tendon is held in place by a strong extension of the middle layer of the cervical fascia. This extension has firm attachments to the first rib and the posterior surface of the clavicle.

Along with the other infrahyoid muscles, the omohyoid muscle depresses the hyoid bone. Each belly receives a separate branch that arises from the ansa cervicalis (C1, C2, and C3).

Note: The image in this article was taken from the book "Tratado de Anatomía Humana" by Testut and Latarjet. The illustration was made by George Devy, a famous French painter who specialized in anatomical illustrations (? -1902) and the engraving was made by a Swiss artist, Edmond Boulenaz (1859-1905). This image is in the Public Domain and has been edited by us.

1. “Gray’s Anatomy” Henry Gray, 1918
2. "Tratado de Anatomia Humana" Testut et Latarjet 8th Ed. 1931 Salvat Editores, Spain
3. "Gray's Anatomy" 42nd British Ed. Churchill Livingstone 2021
4. “An Illustrated Atlas of the Skeletal Muscles” Bowden, B. 4th Ed. Morton Publishing. 2015
5. "Trail Guide to The Body" 4th. Ed. Biel, A. Books of Discovery. 2010
6. "Petite histoire de l'iconographie anatomique" Huard, P; Imbalt-Huart, MJ Communication présentée à la Société Française d'Histoire de la Médecine, le30 septembre 1972.