lumbar rib

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A lumbar rib is an abnormality of costal development resulting in the formation of a rib or ribs that articulate with:

  • the first lumbar vertebra or
  • the tip of the transverse process of the first lumbar vertebra

Relatively more common than cervical rib, it is clinically important because:

  • on lumbar radiogram, it may be misinterpreted as a fracture of the L1 transverse process
  • it may confuse the appreciation of target organs during surgery

However, clinically it is usually silent.

Last reviewed 01/2018