Medical Definition of Breast bone

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Breast bone: 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.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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