The sternum protects the thoracic organs from mechanical injury, provides attachment sites for various muscles, and also is the centre around which the superior ten ribs are directly or indirectly attached.
The sternum consists of three parts:
- Manubrium - the most superior part that articulates with the clavicles and the first rib pair on each side; it has several landmarks:
- Body - middle part that articulates with third to seventh ribs;
- Xiphoid process - the most inferior part, which is usually pointed.