Manubriosternal joint

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr James Ling et al.

The manubriosternal joint, sometimes referred to as the sternomanubrial joint, is the articulation between the upper two parts of the sternum, the manubrium and sternal body.  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

Gross anatomy

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

Anatomy: Thoracic

Anatomy: Thoracic

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Article information

rID: 50776
Section: Anatomy
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Sternomanubrial joint

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: Manubrium: Gray's anatomy diagram
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