Eleventh rib

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 12 Oct 2020

The atypical 11th rib is one of two floating ribs.

Gross anatomy


The 11th rib has a single facet on its head for articulation with the T11 vertebra. It has a short neck and no tubercle. The angle is slight. Its costal groove is shallow. The internal surface of this rib faces slightly upwards.

The pointed anterior end of the 11th rib is covered with costal cartilage. Its length is highly variable.

Related pathology

  • infection, e.g. septic arthritisosteomyelitis
  • malignancy, e.g. chondrosarcomaenchondroma, metastases
  • trauma, e.g. fracture
    • fracture of the eleventh rib is rare, but may be associated with hemorrhage surrounding the adrenal glands, visceral injury to the kidneys and spleen, and lumbar and thoracic vertebral injury

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: atypical ribs - 10, 11, 12 (Gray's illustration)
    Drag here to reorder.
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