The articulation between the upper two parts of the sternum, the manubrium and sternal body, is known as the manubriosternal joint. It is at the level of the sternal angle or angle of Louis, which is at the 2nd costal cartilage and the intervertebral disc of T4 and T5 1. This forms an important palpable landmark for clinical examination
The manubriosternal joint is a type of secondary cartilaginous joint or symphysis, formed by the inferior border of the manubrium and the superior border of the sternal body. Both sides of the joint are irregular and undulating and covered with hyaline cartilage 2. However, it is not a typical secondary cartilaginous joint as the bones may ossify later in adult life 3. The joint does not have a capsule or attached by any ligaments.
There is very little movement of the manubriosternal joint but there may be a small amount of angular movement during respiration 4.
- 1. Moore KL, Agur AMR, Dalley AF. Clinically oriented anatomy. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott ,Williams and Wilkins, 2013
- 2. Sinnatamby, C. and Last, R. Last's anatomy. 12th ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier, 2011
- 3. Singh V. Textbook of Anatomy Upper Limb and Thorax, 2nd Ed. New Dehli: Elselvier, 2014
- 4. Gray Henry, T. Pickering Pick and Robert Howden. Anatomy, descriptive and surgical. 39th ed. New York: Bounty Books, 1977