Rib cage

Skeletal view of rib cage, showing sternum, ribs, and cartilage

The rib cage consists of 24 ribs (2 sets of 12), which are attached to a long, flat bone in the centre of the chest called the sternum. The ribs are connected to the sternum with a strong, somewhat flexible material called cartilage.

The rib cage help protects the organs in the chest, such as the heart and lungs, from damage.

Current as of: March 2, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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