We know that you are there because we feel them when we feel our side, and that is because the ribs are of the utmost importance for our body, helping to protect the important organs found in the thorax from possible impacts and injuries. And it is that when faced with a strong blow, the ribs can fracture, a painful condition that deserves rest since it cannot be treated in any other way.

It is interesting to know its function and structure, but if you are also wondering how many ribs we have then you have come to the right place, because at OneHowTo.com we explain it to you in detail.

What is the number of ribs in humans?

We have 24 ribs, 12 on each side of our body. However, you will be surprised to know that not all our ribs are the same, and that they are actually divided into 3 types:

  • True or sternal ribs: these are the first 7 ribs from top to bottom, they are known as sternal because they are attached directly to the sternum.
  • False or asternal ribs: these are the following 3 ribs, they are known by this name because, although they are also attached to the sternum, they do so indirectly as they first join the cartilage of another rib and then the sternum.
  • Floating ribs: these are the last 2 ribs, so called because they are not attached to the sternum or any other cartilage.

What are ribs for?

The ribs, in addition to serving as support to our skeleton, fulfil the important function of protecting the organs found in the thorax: the lungs, the heart, the aorta, the superior and inferior vena cava, the oesophagus, the trachea, lymph nodes and thymus. These delicate organs are surrounded by the ribs, in such a way that before a strong blow these bones suffer first before the organs, much more fragile and delicate.

Together with the sternum and the spine, the ribs form what is known as the rib cage.


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