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An Overview of the Human Sternum

An Overview of the Human Sternum

Eshealthtips.com – The Human Sternum is an important organ in humans. It is a surgical entrance, and as such is commonly used for cardiac surgery. However, the prevalence of sternal anomalies is not well known due to a lack of contextual data. Some researchers hypothesize that sternal variations in other hominoid species are common, but this can only be confirmed through anthropological collections. This article provides a brief overview of this important organ.

The Sternum is Made Up of Six Segments

The sternum consists of six segments, including the manubrium and the mesosternum. Each segment consists of two or three sternebrae. The first piece has two centers and the second, third, and fourth pieces each consist of two or three centers. The sternal segments are shaped irregularly. The sternal segments are vaguely hexagonal in shape. This irregularity may explain the rare occurrence of the sternal foramen.

The Human Sternum is composed of three parts: the manubrium, the body, and the xiphoid process. The sternum body protects the mediastinum. Each segment is connected to the next one by cartilages. The manubrium and the sternum body are connected via the ribs 2-7. There are notches in the sternum body where the costal cartilages attach.

A fracture of the sternum can cause a person to experience pain when breathing. They may also experience grinding sensations while moving their arms. Because the xiphoid process is much smaller than the rest of the sternum, it is a safety hazard when performing CPR. Inflamed rib cartilage can also cause pain, which can spread to the arms and shoulders. Surgical repair is not always necessary for sternum pain, though.

The Human Spine is Made up of Two Different Parts

The Human Sternum is made of cartilage and muscle. The manubrium is located on the cephalad end of the sternum. It is the attachment point for the pectoralis major muscle, the sternomastoid muscle, and the sternothyroid muscle. The sternohyoid muscle originates from the manubrium bone. The manubrium’s anterior and posterior surface form the superior mediastinum’s anterior border. The sternum’s lateral border has facets for articulation with the costal cartilage of the third to seventh rib.

The human sternum is made up of two distinct parts: the anterior and the posterior sternum. The anterior part of the sternum is divided into two parts by periosteal plexuses. The latter is segmented in infants, and the anterior portion is confluent in adults. In adults, the manubriosternal joint is essential for movement of the ribs. A sternum that depresses on both sides is called a ‘pigeon chest’.

There are differences in morphology between the male and female sternum, and this could affect a patient’s thoracic injury tolerance. To characterize the human sternum morphology, landmarks were collected from 330 computed tomography (CT) scans. The landmarks were analyzed by Procrustes superimposition to derive age-specific functions of 3D sternum morphology. In females, the sternum increased in size from birth to age 30 and remained similar throughout adulthood. In males, the manubrium grew laterally.

Useful Parts of the Skeleton System

The sternum is a useful part of the skeletal system, and a study of the sternum can help determine an individual’s age. In forensic medicine, this information is also useful for planning thoracic surgeries and reducing postoperative complications. The Selcuk University School of Medicine in Turkey has approved the study. This study has numerous applications and is expected to continue to grow in the future. It should be noted that studies of sternum morphology are generally population-specific, and not gender-specific.

The sternum is composed of three distinct parts. The smallest piece, the xiphoid process, is cartilaginous and begins life as a soft pliable piece. The sternum becomes more or less ossified as a patient ages. The manubrium sterni and body of the sternum form the sternal angle. These three structures articulate with the fourth and fifth thoracic vertebrae.

In forensic anthropology, age estimation is a critical parameter. The sternum can provide useful information regarding a person’s age, allowing the investigator to determine the individual’s age in context of other characteristics of the body. For example, in South India, a sternum alone is not reliable for age estimation. However, it can be helpful in determining the gender and the age of a person. So, this study has great potential in forensic anthropology.


Särestöniemi, M., Pomalaza-Ráez, C., Bi, Z., Kumpuniemi, T., Kissi, C., Sonkki, M., … & Iinattit, J. (2019). Comprehensive study on the impact of sternotomy wires on UWB WBAN channel characteristics on the human chest area. IEEE Access7, 74670-74682.

PAZOKIFARD, Banafsheh; SOWMYA, Arcot. 3-d segmentation of human sternum in lung mdct images. In: 2013 35th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC). IEEE, 2013. p. 3351-3354.


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