Osteology of Pectoral Region

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• Primates are one of the few claviculate mammals.

• A strut for the upper limb positioning it laterally and connecting shoulder joint to midline.

• An S-shaped bone of late ossification and two joints.

Sternoclavicular Joint:

• Classified in different ways by different authorities.

• A plane synovial joint between clavicle and manubrium of sternum.

• This is the only bony connection between the upper limb and the trunk.

Acromioclavicular Joint

• A plane synovial joint between clavicle and acromion process of scapula.


• A flat bone in anterior midline consisting of three developmental parts.


• The upper part of sternum that articulates with clavicle and first two ribs.

Suprasternal notch:

• Palpable on superior surface at level of T2-T3 (thoracic vertebra 2 - thoracic vertebra 3).

Sternoclavicular Joint at Superolateral Corner

• Articulation for first rib along lateral margin.

• Articulation for second rib at manubriosternal junction (the sternal angle).

• Manubriosternal joint - an important, palpable landmark.

Symphysis Joints

• At level of lower border of T4.

• Trachea bifurcates at this level just deep to sternum.

Body of a Symphysis Joints:

• Ossifies from four separate embryological segments.

• Articulates directly with costal cartilages for ribs 2-7.

Xiphoid Process:

• Joined to body via symphysis joint that ossifies in adulthood to become a synostosis. Xiphisternal joint at level of T9-T10.

• Lower limit of anterior thoracic cavity.

• Articulates with costal cartilage of rib 7.

• Cartilaginous at birth; does not completely ossify until approximately age 40.

• Superficial fascia of the pectoral region.

• We expand our description of the region to include one of the most clinically important structures in the body, which happens to be located within the superficial fascia of the pectoral region - the breast, or mammary gland.

More Topics on Chest Wall:

1. Osteology of Pectoral Region
2. Glandular Structure of the Mammary Gland
3. Development of the Breast
4. Fluid Circulation in the Breast
5. Muscles of the Pectoral Region
6. Intercostal Connective Tissue
7. Notes on Neurovascular Bundle

Additional Reading:

Histology and Cytology

1. Cell Components
2. Nervous Tissue
3. Muscle Tissue
4. Lymphoid Tissue
5. Integument
6. Respiratory System
7. Gastrointestinal System
8. Renal/Urinary System
9. Male Reproductive System
10. Female Reproductive System

Gross Anatomy

1. Back and Nervous System
2. Thorax
3. Abdomen, Pelvis, and Perineum
4. Upper Limb
5. Lower Limb
6. Head and Neck
7. Chest Wall
8. Shoulder

Anatomy Videos

1. Video of Musculoskeletal Examination in a Clinical Setting
1. Video of HEENT Examination in a Clinical Setting

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