What is Dorsal Recumbent Position? - Definition, Uses, Benefits

What is Dorsal Recumbent Position?

The dorsal recumbent posture is a positioning strategy in which a person rests on his back with their legs contracted and rotated outward. In this position, the person's back is level with the floor. It is frequently used for gynecological and obstetrical procedures requiring access to the pelvis and lower abdomen, such as vaginal examinations, bimanual palpation, and the use of obstetrical forceps.

The dorsal recumbent posture is quite similar to the supine position; however, the legs are contracted and rotated outward rather than lying flat on the back. Even though the dorsal recumbent position is generally safe for most individuals, there are a few dangers and limitations that should be taken into account.

Following these steps will enable you to position a patient in the dorsal recumbent posture:

  • Position the patient in the supine position, flat on their back.
  • Direct the patient to flex their knees upwards.
  • Give the patient instructions to spread his legs apart so that the pelvic area can be observed.
  • For privacy, cover the patient's lower body.
  • You can put a pillow or piece of cloth under the patient's head if he is uneasy. The posture will be maintained and comfort levels will rise as a result.
What is Dorsal Recumbent Position - Definition, Uses, Benefits


The dorsal recumbent position is a posture technique in which the patient rests on his back with his legs contracted and externally rotated. Many diagnostic procedures, including vaginal examinations, bimanual palpation, the application of obstetrical forceps, and the repair of damages following childbirth, necessitate the use of this position.


A dorsal recumbent position is required for following medical procedures 

  • During physical examinations, this position is frequently utilized, particularly when the abdomen and reproductive organs are being examined.
  • During a Pap smear, the patient is positioned dorsally recumbent to make it easier to reach the cervix.
  • This posture is also employed for catheter insertion into the bladder.
  • Dorsal recumbent posture is frequently used for pelvic exams, which enable the medical professional to evaluate the cervix, uterus, and ovaries.


The dorsal recumbent posture is a reclining position when the patient's both knees are bent, hips are moved outward, and both soles are kept flat on the bed. Medical treatments, including insertion of intravenous lines, childbirth, and surgical procedures, all require the patient to be in this posture. By preventing the patient's private areas from being exposed, it also offers comfort and privacy to the patient.

Multiple advantages accompany the dorsal recumbent position. It is a safe and relaxing position for patients that can be utilized for general examinations or physical evaluations. People who sit for long periods of time or who are bedridden in a supine or Fowler's position benefit from this as well, as it reduces the pressure on their sacrum and heels. It is also helpful for hypotensive patients since it encourages venous return.

What is Dorsal Recumbent Position? - Definition, Uses, Benefits What is Dorsal Recumbent Position? - Definition, Uses, Benefits Reviewed by Simon Albert on February 14, 2023 Rating: 5
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