Definition of True rib
True rib: One of the first 7 pairs of ribs. A rib is said to be "true" if it attaches to the sternum (the breast bone).
All 12 pairs of ribs attach to the building blocks of the spine (vertebrae) in the back. The 12 pairs of ribs consist of:
The upper three false ribs connect to the costal cartilages of the ribs just above them. The last two false ribs, however, usually have no ventral attachment (no anchor at all in front) and are called floating, fluctuating or vertebral ribs.
Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013
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