Q:

What can you learn from a picture of the sternum area?

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Quick Answer

By viewing pictures of the sternum, or breastbone, area, individuals can learn about the three parts of the sternum and how it is attached to the clavicle and first seven ribs, according to InnerBody. Viewers may also learn the position of the sternum in relation to other organs.

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Full Answer

Viewing pictures of the sternum area allows individuals to see the manubrim, or handle, which is the upper portion of the sternum, as shown by Healthline. Individuals can also observe the body of the sternum, also known as the blade or gladiolus, and the bottom point of the sternum, which is also known as the xiphoid process. Observers may note how ribs attach to the sternum with costal cartilage, which allows flexibility for respiration.

The sternum and ribs combine to create the ribcage, which protects the lungs, heart and blood vessels. It also provides coverage of the stomach, kidneys and parts of the spleen, as Healthline explains.

The medical field recognizes a few risks associated with the sternum area, according to InnerBody. During cardiopulmonary resuscitation, there is a risk of the xiphoid process breaking and damaging the vital organs beneath it. Also, if surgeons need to cut the sternum for procedures such as open heart surgery, they must wire it together, which increases the risk of further damage from stress to the area after surgery.

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