Humans have 25 bones in the chest that together protects several vital organs and provide shape and structure to the upper body. These bones collectively form the thorax, one of the most critical structures in the human body.
Names and Anatomy of the Bones of the Chest
Sternum (1): Also known as the breastbone, the sternum is a flat bone located in the middle of the chest. Its primary function is protecting the heart. The bone has three parts – the manubrium, body, and xiphoid process.
The sternum is the attachment point for the costal cartilage, which connects it directly to the first seven pairs of ribs. It is also where the shoulder or pectoral girdle joins with the axial skeleton via an articulation with the clavicles.
Ribs (12 pairs, 24 in total): The 12 pairs of ribs curve around the chest cavity to form the rib cage that protects the lungs, heart, and liver. The rib cage is also the attachment point for essential muscles like the diaphragm and intercostal muscles. The ribs extend from the spinal cord in the back, where they form joints with the thoracic vertebrae.