March 9, 2008

The Sternum

Filed under: — Peter Laws @ 3:05 am

SternumThe sternum is a flat, dagger shaped bone located in the middle of the chest. Along with the ribs, the sternum forms the rib cage that protects the heart, lungs, and major blood vessels from damage. Click for larger image.

The sternum is composed of three parts:

  • The manubrim, also called the “handle”, is located at the top of the sternum and moves slightly. It is connected to the first two ribs.
  • The body, also called the “blade” or the “gladiolus”, is located in the middle of the sternum and connects the third to seventh ribs directly and the eighth through tenth ribs indirectly.
  • The xiphoid process, also called the “tip”, is located on the bottom of the sternum. It is often cartilaginous (cartilage), but does become bony in later years.

These three segments of bone are usually fused in adults.

The sternum serves an important function in the body. The ribs are connected to it by the costal cartilage. Without the sternum, there would be a hole in the bone structure in the middle of your chest, right above your heart and lungs. The sternum protects this vital area and completes the circle of the rib cage.

Be Sociable, Share!

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.