The breastbone, or the sternum,
is linked to the bones which make up the ribs. The
sternum is a flat bone that is about 6 inches long. The
ribs curve around from the spine to the front of the
body. This makes a bony framework which is known as the
thoracic case. This case helps protect your chest.
Most people have 12 pairs of ribs. The
ribs are connected to the sternum by cartilage.
This makes the ribs more flexible, which is necessary
during breathing. The first seven pairs of ribs are
attached directly to the breastbone. The eighth, ninth
and tenth pairs are attached to the sternum by a
cartrilage band. The last two pairs of ribs are not
attached to the sternum or cartilage. The last five pairs
of ribs are called false ribs.