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Structure of the Ribcage and Ribs

Introduction to the Structure of the Ribcage and Ribs:

There are twelve (12) pairs of ribs and all articulate posteriorly with the image descriptionthoracic vertebrae.

Lateral view of the ribs articulating with the thoracic vertebrae animation slide 1
Lateral view of the ribs articulating with the thoracic vertebrae animation slide 2
Lateral view of the ribs articulating with the thoracic vertebrae animation slide 3
Lateral view of the ribs articulating with the thoracic vertebrae animation slide 4
Lateral view of the ribs articulating with the thoracic vertebrae animation slide 5
Lateral view of the ribs articulating with the thoracic vertebrae animation slide 6
Lateral view of the ribs articulating with the thoracic vertebrae animation slide 7
Lateral view of the ribs articulating with the thoracic vertebrae animation slide 8
Lateral view of the ribs articulating with the thoracic vertebrae animation slide 9
Lateral view of a pair of ribs articulating with the thoracic vertebrae.
  1. The image descriptiontrue ribs (ribs 1-7) attach to the sternum by image descriptioncostal cartilages. The flexible (hyaline) cartilage, makes the breathing process easier.
Unlabelled image of the anterior view of the rib cage
Anterior view of the true ribs of the rib cage
Anterior view of the costal cartilage of the ribs
The true ribs attached to sternum by costal cartilages.
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  1. The image descriptionfalse ribs (ribs 8-10) attach to the costal cartilage of rib 7, not directly to the sternum.
Unlabelled image of the anterior view of the rib cage
Anterior view of the false ribs of the rib cage
The false ribs attached to the costal cartilage of rib 7.
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  1. The image descriptionfloating ribs (ribs 11-12) have no anterior attachment with the sternum.
Unlabelled image of the anterior view of the rib cage
Anterior view of the floating ribs
Anterior view of the floating ribs.
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Ribs 3-9 share many structural characteristics.

In comparison, the first two ribs are shorter and more curved. Rib 1 is also flattened horizontally. The heads of ribs 1, 10, 11, and 12 have a single facet for articulation with the bodies of the thoracic vertebrae. Ribs 11 and 12 do not have necks or tubercles and the anterior tips of their bodies lack an articular surface.

Bone Markings of Ribs 3-9:

  1. image descriptionBody or shaft – long, curved portion of the rib. [image descriptionAdd/image descriptionRemove vertebrae]
Medial view of the right ribs
Medial view of the body of the right ribs
Medial view of the body of the right ribs with vertebrae added
Medial view of the body of the right ribs.
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  1. image descriptionAngle – area of shaft with the greatest curvature. [image descriptionAdd/image descriptionRemove vertebrae]
Medial view of the right ribs
Medial view of the angle of the right rib
Medial view of the angle of the right rib with vertebrae added
Medial view of the angle of the right ribs.
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  1. image descriptionCostal groove – elongated depression along the inferior surface of the rib. The channel provides a pathway for the intercostal blood vessels and nerves run. [image descriptionAdd/image descriptionRemove vertebrae]
Medial view of the right ribs
Medial view of the costal groove of the right rib
Medial view of the costal groove of the right rib with vertebrae added
Medial view of the costal groove of the right ribs.
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  1. image descriptionHead – medioposterior end of the rib. It contains the facets that articulate with the vertebral bodies of the thoracic vertebrae. [image descriptionAdd/image descriptionRemove vertebrae]
Medial view of the right ribs
Medial view of the head of the right rib
Medial view of the head of the right rib with vertebrae adde
Medial view of the head of the right ribs.
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  1. image descriptionSuperior articular facet – upper of two small depressions on the head. It forms the are of articulation with the inferior costal (or demi) facet on the vertebra above. [image descriptionAdd/image descriptionRemove vertebrae]
Medial view of the right ribs
Medial view of the superior articular facet of the right rib
Medial view of the superior articular facet of the right rib with vertebrae added
Medial view of the superior articular facet of the right ribs.
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  1. image descriptionInferior articular facet – lower of the two small depressions on the head. It forms the are of articulation with the superior costal (demi) facet on the vertebra below. [image descriptionAdd/image descriptionRemove vertebrae]
Medial view of the right ribs
Medial view of the inferior articular facet of the right rib
Medial view of the inferior articular facet of the right rib with vertebrae added
Medial view of the inferior articular facet of the right ribs.
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  1. image descriptionNeck – area between the head and the tubercle. [image descriptionAdd/image descriptionRemove vertebrae]
Medial view of the right ribs
Medial view of the neck of the right rib
Medial view of the neck of the right rib with the vertebrae added
Medial view of the neck of the right ribs.
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  1. image descriptionTubercle – small elevation on the posterior surface of the rib at the junction of the head and neck. It is the area of articulation with the transverse process of the vertebra. [image descriptionAdd/image descriptionRemove vertebrae]
Medial view of the right ribs
Medial view of the tubercle of the right rib
Medial view of the tubercle of the right rib with the vertebrae added
Medial view of the tubercle of the right ribs.
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  1. image descriptionSternal end – region of the rib that attaches to the costal cartilage. [image descriptionAdd/image descriptionRemove vertebrae]
Medial view of the right ribs
Medial view of the sternal end of the right ribs
Medial view of the sternal end of the right ribs with vertebrae added
medial view of the sternal end of the right ribs.
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Test yourself:

Anterior view of the ribcage and ribs: [image descriptionShow/image descriptionHide answers]

Test yourself image for the rib cage with answers hidden
Test yourself image for the rib cage with answers shown; costal cartilage, floating ribs, true ribs, false ribs
Review the anterior view of the ribcage and ribs and test yourself.
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Test yourself:

Medial view of the right ribs: [image descriptionShow/image descriptionHide] answers.

Test yourself image for the medial view of the right ribs with answers hidden
Test yourself image for the medial view of the right ribs with answers shown
Review the medial view of the right ribs and test yourself.
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