Breast Bone (Sternum)
The breast bone is a familiar name for the sternum, the
long flat bone in the middle of the front of the chest. The sternum consists
of three portions: the manubrium (the upper segment of the sternum, a
flattened, roughly triangular bone), the corpus or body of the sternum,
and the xiphoid process (the little tail of the sternum than points down).
These three portions of the sternum arise as separate bones and may fuse partially
or completely with one another. The sternum articulates (makes contact) with
the cartilages of the first seven ribs and the clavicles (the collar
bones) to form the middle portion of the anterior front wall of the thorax.