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True ribs

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Main features of the ribs.

The ribs are the twelve pairs of curved, flat bones that form the majority of the thoracic cage. The true ribs, also known as the vertebrosternal ribs, represent the first seven pairs, with ribs 8-10 termed false ribs (vertebrochondral), while ribs 11-12 are known as floating (vertebral, free) ribs. In some texts, ribs 8-12 are collectively referred to as the false ribs. 

True ribs are termed as such as they directly attach to the sternum via their own individual costal cartilages. This is in contrast to the false ribs, whose cartilages typically merge and attach onto cartilage of the seventh rib, thus indirectly attaching to the sternum. Of the true ribs, the first and second are considered atypical, while ribs 3-7 are classified as typical ribs. The true ribs play a crucial role in supporting and protecting vital organs within the thoracic region, such as the heart and lungs, and contribute to the overall structural integrity of the chest.

Terminology English: True ribs
Latin: Costae verae
Synonym: 1st-7th ribs
Definition Ribs that attach directly to the sternum through their own individual costal cartilage. 

Learn all about the anatomy of the ribs with this study unit:

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