The manubrium: notches, an­chors and swords

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Health -

What is it? The up­per­most of the three bones that make up the ster­num (breast­bone). At the top of the manubrium is a de­pres­sion called the jugu­lar notch, which can be felt at the bot­tom of the neck. The clav­i­cles (col­lar bones) con­nect to the ster­num on ei­ther side of this notch. What does it do? The manubrium, and the rest of the ster­num, pro­tect or­gans in the chest. A lot of force is re­quired to break it — a steer­ing wheel crunch­ing into it dur­ing a car crash can do the job. It also an­chors the ribs in place — the first and sec­ond ribs join to it. What’s it got to do with swords? The whole of the ster­num is said to look like a sword. The manubrium is shaped like the sword’s han­dle and is named af­ter the Latin words manus , mean­ing hand (as in ma­nip­u­late and man­u­fac­ture) and habeo , mean­ing ‘‘ I hold’’.

Il­lus­tra­tion: Nathalie Gar­cia

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