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The ribs are a set of 12 paired bones which form the majority of the circumference of the thoracic cage. They are flat, elongated strips of bone with a significant bow that permits arching from junctions with the 12 thoracic vertebrae posteriorly and, for all but the most inferior 2 ribs, the costal cartilages or the sternum anteriorly.
The most significant pathology of ribs is that of traumatic fracture. They may be the site of metastasis. Occasionally, there may be a developmentally abnormal number of ribs; in the case of a cervical rib, this may cause neurovascular complications.
The prefix for terms relating to ribs is cost(o)-.