GlossarySee Full Entry

Rib: There are 12 pairs of ribs in the body. The first 7 pairs of ribs articulate with the sternum by cartilaginous attachments. These are called the true ribs. The last 5 pairs if ribs are called false ribs because they do not join the sternum directly. Instead, the first 3 (the 8th, 9th, and 10th) have cartilage which converges before the sternum is reached. The last two are floating ribs which end in the midchest; they are not attached to the sternum at all. All the ribs are attached to the vertebral column dorsally and form a cage-like structure enclosing and protecting the heart, lungs, and other thoracic structures.

Alternate Names
Costal cartilage
Costovertebral joint
False ribs
True ribs
Primary Site
C413 Rib, sternum, clavicle and associated joints