The human ribcage is also known as the thoracic basket. It is a protective framework for your heart, lungs etc. It is quite delicate itself and can be damaged easily, even by a powerful sneeze. Your ribcage does more than protecting your major organs. Your body has 12 pairs of ribs altogether. Seven of them are called true ribs, three pairs are false ribs and two pairs are floating ribs.
Quick Facts: –
- The ribs are flat, thin bones that curve around your chest.
- Your ribcage is conical in shape. This conical structure helps you to maintain your upper body shape.
- It provides vital support to your skeleton.
- Floating ribs are the smallest of all the ribs in your ribcage.
- There are gaps between the ribs. These gaps are known as intercostal spaces. These spaces contain thin sheets of muscle. These muscles expand and relax while breathing.
- A rib injury can be fatal because a sharp piece of rib can pierce into your heart or lung and can cause serious problem.
- Your ribcage expands by 3 to 5 cm. with every breath you take.
- The cartilage portions of the ribs meet at the sternum or breastbone. The sternum is a flat three bone plate.
- The floating ribs hang unattached to the sternum.
- When many ribs are broken and detached from the cage, it is known as a flail chest.
- The middle ribs are the most likely to get broken.