Organization of the ribs

Are long, thin-curved slightly twisted arches of bone.

  • 12 pairs of ribs

  • Three categories:

    a) vertebrosternal: 1-7, Extend from vertebrae to the sternum

    b) Vertebrocostal: Run between vertebrae and common costal cartilage

    c) vertebral: 11 and 12 , sometimes called floating ribs, free anterior

Atypical ribs

1st rib:
  • Short, Broad,C-shaped
  • 2 surfaces- superior and inferior
  • 2 borders- lateral and medial
  • has only one articular facet for articulation with the T1 vertebra
  • A prominent scalene tubercle on the superior surface   
2nd rib:
  • Has a curvature similar to the one of first rib, but is thinner , much less curved and about twice as long as the first rib
  • Has a broad rough eminence, the tuberosity for the serratus anterior muscle
11th and 12th ribs:
  • Are short
  • Are capped with cartilage
  • Have a single facet on their heads
  • Have no neck
  • Have no tubercle
  • The 11 th rib has a slight angle and a shallow costal groove

Home | Project Anatomy | Gross Anatomy | Topic Index | Chapter 28

Chapter 28: The Chest Wall and Pleura