This site is intended for healthcare professionals
Login | Register (NOW FREE)

Medical search

first (1st) rib (anatomy)

FREE subscriptions for doctors and students... click here
You have 3 open access pages.

The first rib is the most superior within the thoracic cavity. It is atypical in structure:

  • head:
    • single articular facet for synovial joint with upper hemifacet on lateral body of T1
    • relatively small
    • reinforced by typical radiate ligament
  • neck:
    • slopes superiorly and slightly posteriorly to join the shaft
    • relations:
      • anterior ramus of eighth cervical nerve on superior surface
      • anterior ramus of first thoracic nerve on inferior surface
      • posterior to anterior on thoracic surface: stellate ganglion or sympathetic chain, supreme intercostal vein, superior intercostal artery. These structures are in contact with the apposing cervical pleura.
  • tubercle:
    • in anatomical position, most posterior point of rib
    • medial facet for synovial joint articulation with first thoracic vertebra transverse process
    • laterally provides attachment for;
      • lateral costotransverse ligament
      • costalis muscle
      • longissimus muscle
  • angle: there is no angle as it has effectively fused with the tubercle
  • shaft: see submenu
  • general points:
    • the first rib is bent into a very tight curve to turn 180 degrees from vertebra to sternum
    • in the anatomical position, the rib is inclined 45 degrees to the horizontal


The information provided herein should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Copyright 2016 Oxbridge Solutions LtdĀ®. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions LtdĀ® receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence. GPnotebook stores small data files on your computer called cookies so that we can recognise you and provide you with the best service. If you do not want to receive cookies please do not use GPnotebook.