The sternum

  • Also called the breast bone
  • Is an elongated flat bone
  • Resembles a short broad sword or dagger


  1. Manubrium
  2. Body
  3. Xiphoid process

The manubrium:

  • Slopes inferiorly and anteriorly.

  • Superiorly it has the jugular or suprasternal notch, and lateral to this are the clavicular notches.

  • The inferior margin articulates with the body at manubrosternal joint- a secondary cartilaginous joint.

Note: The manubro sternal joint forms the sternal angle- articulation of second rib



The body:

  • Is the longest part.

  • Is thinner and narrower than the manubrium.

  • Broadest at the level of the 5 th sternocostal joints and then gradually tapers inferiorly

  • Anterior surface may have three transverse ridges.

Xiphoid Process

  • A thin, sword shaped process.

  • Varies in shape

  • Usually ossifies and unites with body of sternum around 40 th year.



Home | Project Anatomy | Gross Anatomy | Topic Index | Chapter 28

Chapter 28: The Chest Wall and Pleura
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