Thorax

The thoracic skeleton (compages thoracis) consists of the twelve thoracic vertebrae, ribs with their cartilages, and the sternum. Thorax may look stiff, but it is a quite flexible structure with the complex motion behavior during lateral bending and rotation of the spine*.


*Lee DG. Biomechanics of the thorax – research evidence and clinical expertise. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy. 2015;23(3):128-138.
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The frontal and anterior oblique view of the axial skeleton The dorosal and posterior oblique view of the axial skeleton
Thorax is the part of the axial skeleton. An axial skeleton includes all bones crossed by the median (mid-sagittal) plane — the skull with hyoid bone, spine, thorax, and pelvis.

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Frontal view of the thorax Rib cage, Infrasternal angle, thorax
The anterior aspect of the thorax.
Note the costal arch made by fused costal cartilages of 7th, 8th, 9th, and usually also 10th rib.
The list of terms: Vertebra thoracica I & XII – First and twelveth thoracic vertebra
Manubrium sterni
Cartilago costalis I – Costal cartilage of the first rib
Costa prima – First rib
Costa secunda – Second rib
Angulus sterni – Sternal angle
Corpus sterni – Body of sternum
Cartilago costalis II–X – Costal cartilage II–X
Costa III–XII – Rib III–XII
Spatium intercostale I–III – First, second and third intercostal space
Arcus costalis – Costal arch
Angulus infrasternalis – Infrasternal angle
Planum subcostale – Subcostal plane

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Thoracic inlet. Apertura thoracis superior Thoracic inlet with the anatomical terminology
Oblique superior aspect of the rib cage. The thoracic inlet.
The list of terms: Apertura thoracis superior – Superior thoracic aperture (thoracic inlet)
Manumbrium sterni
Incisura jugularis – Jugular notch
Incisura clavicularis – Clavicular notch
Cartilago costae I – Costal cartilage of the first rib
Corpus costae I – Body of the first rib
Caput & collum costae I – Head and neck of the first rib
Articulatio capitis costae – Joint of rib head
Corpus vertebrae Th 1 – Body of the first thoracic vertebra

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Thoracic outlet. Apertura thoracis inferior Ribcage. View to the thoracic outlet with anatomical terminology
Bottom view of the thorax. The thoracic outlet.
The list of terms: Apertura thoracis inferior – Inferior thoracic aperture (thoracic outlet)
Processus xiphoideus – Xiphoid process
Arcus costalis – Cosotal arch
Costal cartilage XI – Costal cartilage of the eleventh rib
Costa & cartilago costae XII – Twelfth rib with costal cartilage
Corpus vertebrae thoracicae XII – Body of the twelfth toracic vertebra
Cavitas thoracis – Thoracic cavity
Sulcus pulmonalis thoracis – Pulmonary sulcus of thorax

360° rotation of the rib cage