The manubrium: notches, anchors and swords
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’’.