The sternum develops as three distinct parts: the manubrium, the body of the sternum sometimes called the gladiolus , and the xiphoid process. The shape of the sternum looks somewhat like a sword pointing downwards, with the manubrium forming the handle, the body forming the blade, and the xiphoid process forming the tip. It forms joints with the clavicles and the first and second pairs of ribs through their costal cartilages. The clavicles meet the manubrium at the concave clavicular notches to form the sternoclavicular joint, the only point of skeletal attachment between the pectoral girdle of the shoulder and the axial skeleton of the thorax. Slight indentations on the lateral sides of the manubrium provide attachment points for the costal cartilages of the ribs.
Sternum Medically reviewed by Healthline's Medical Network on March 20, The sternum, or breastbone, is a flat bone at the front center of the chest. The ribs and sternum make up what is called the 'ribcage. The sternum is attached to the first seven ribs and also to the clavicle, or collarbone. The sternum is made up of three parts called the manubrim, the body, and the xiphoid process. In adults, the sternum portions are fused. The top of the sternum is the manubrim, or handle. It is connected to the first two ribs and is not completely rigid.
Anatomy of the thoracic cage and the breast: illustrations
Bones Medically reviewed by Healthline's Medical Network on March 4, The bones of the chest — namely the rib cage and spine — protect vital organs from injury, and also provide structural support for the body. Flexible yet strong, the rib cage protects major vital organs such as the heart, lungs, and liver. Contrary to urban legend and some religious beliefs, women do not have more ribs than men.
A doctor may recommend avoiding high-intensity exercises that strain the xiphoid process. Treatment for xiphoid process pain depends on its cause. A doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain. They may also recommend that a person experiencing pain from xiphoid process avoids high-intensity exercise or activities that put a strain on the area.