Chest Bones in a Human Body

Published: 11th May 2010
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The skeletal system supports and gives shape to the body. Multiple bodily organs are safeguarded by hard substances, named as bones. Bones contain calcium and are quite hard that provide protection to the delicate organs in the body. Not only these offer a good defense, but bones present the right structure to the human body as well as gives robustness. Similarly, the chest bones protect the delicate heart and lungs. Chest, the medical title for it is thorax, consists of 25 bones. The chest bones are of two main types, the sternum and the ribs.

The Sternum

The sternum is T-shaped, elongated and flat bone which is at the midst of the thorax, over the heart and middle-chest (mediastinum). It consists of three main parts. The Manubrium, the gladiolus and the xiphoid process form the three parts of sternum. The sternum provides support to the two sets of ribs and is located exactly in the middle of the chest. As in the development phase of sternum, it is separated into three portions. These three portions are called sternebra. The sternum is close to 17 centimetres in size.

Cartilage connects the ribs to the sternum. Sternum shields the tremendously critical and fine body organs including heart, lungs and the blood vessels, from any type of outer or bodily damage. Sternum is nothing but vascular tissues. Yet, a very thin covering of the bone coats this vascular tissue. The manubrium is the thickest portion of the sternum.

The Ribs

There are twenty four ribs in a body of a human. There are 12 ribs each on either side of the chest. The rib bones make a cage like framework and so termed as ribcage. The ribcage surrounds and protects the entire chest. The delicate and the most essential organs of the body as well as the blood vessels are protected by the ribcage. While inhaling, the rib cage shrinks and expands with the set of lungs which allows to breathe normally.

The seven ribs from the twelve are called the "true ribs". These are labeled so, because these ribs are straight attached to sternum. The cartilage that connects the true ribs to the sternum is called coastal cartilage. It delivers flexibility to the rib cage and of course helps in moving along the ribs. The other five ribs are often called false ribs and three ribs from these five are attached to sternum by cartilage. As the last two ribs are not connected to the sternum, these are called floating ribs. These floating ribs are eleventh and 12th ribs which are as well identified as vertebral ribs.

There is inflammation in the coastal cartilage. These are partially adaptive. There can be a severe damage to coastal cartilage if you experience trauma in the chest. The scientific name for this severe condition like inflammation is called Costochondritis. It is extremely agonizing and the symptoms bring about broken rib, lungs are weakened or perhaps somebody struggling with this dilemma can have a terrible heart stroke. If you feel pain in chest, you need to consult the doctor immediately so as to prevent major problem.

Know the importance of Chest bones and learn about Chest bone at

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