Sternum: Anatomy, Parts, Pain And Diagram Notes


Sternum Terminology

‘Sternum’ is derived from the Greek word ‘sternum’ which means chest. Sternum is also called ‘breast bone’.

It has three parts; manubrium, body, and xiphoid process. The manubrium is a Latin word that means ‘handle’. The term ‘xiphoid’ is borrowed from the Greek word ‘xiphos’ which means ‘sword’.

Sternum Location

It is a flat bone whose long axis is vertical. It lies in the median part of the anterior thoracic wall. Its surfaces are anterior and posterior. Its anterior surface also faces a little upwards.

Sternum Location Of Sternum

Sternum Length

It is about 7 inches (17 cm) long.

Sternum Structure

It is made up of mainly spongy bone and thus it is rich in red bone marrow.

Sternum Features

Sternum is made up of three pieces from above downwards:

  1. Manubrium.
  2. Body.
  3. Xiphoid process.

Sternum Manubrium

It is somewhat triangular in shape and is wider above than below. It has two surfaces (anterior and posterior) and four borders (superior, inferior, and two lateral).

Sternum Sternum Anterior Aspect

Sternum The Body

It has two surfaces (anterior and posterior), two borders (right lateral

Sternum Side Views Of Sternum And Thoracic Vertebrae

Sternum Xiphoid Process

It is the lowest and smallest part of the sternum and is of variable shape. It has two surfaces (anterior and posterior), two borders (right lateral and left lateral), and two ends (upper and lower).

Sternum Sternum Posterior Aspect

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