The thorax is the superior part of the trunk extending between the neck and the abdomen. It consists of several components:
- Thoracic wall
- Several cavities
- Nerves, blood vessels, lymphatics
- Internal organs
- Anteriorly - sternum; also called the breastbone; it is located in the anterior midline of the thorax and consists of three parts;
- Laterally - twelve ribs on each side and three layers of intercostal muscles; intercostal muscles fill the intercostal spaces between adjacent ribs; each intercostal space has three different intercostal muscles - external, internal and innermost intercostal muscles; these muscles move the ribs and provide mechanical support for the intercostal spaces and thoracic wall;
- Posteriorly - twelve thoracic vertebrae (read more!) and their intervertebral discs.