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Floating ribs

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Floating ribs

Floating rib
The four floating ribs (indicated with red arrows)
The six lower ribs on a woman (left) and a man (right). The four floating ribs are small, especially on a woman.
Latin costae fluctuantes, costae fluitantes
TA
FMA

Floating ribs are four atypical ribs (two lowermost pairs, XI-XII) in the human ribcage. They are called so because they are attached to the vertebrae only, and not to the sternum or cartilage coming off the sternum. Some people are missing one of the two pairs. Others have a third pair. Most, however, possess two pairs.

Their position can be permanently altered by a form of body modification called tightlacing, which uses a corset to compress and move the ribs.

See also

Additional images

External links

  • eMedicine Dictionary
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