How Many Ribs Does A Man Have


How Many Ribs Does A Man Have?

Do men actually have different numbers of ribs from women? This is a question almost every body needs an answer to. Lots of people conclude that men have lesser ribs than women. Most of them seem to draw emphasis from the Bible where God created a woman out of a man’s rib.

It is important to note that the Bible, did not state how many ribs a man had before one was taken by God to create a woman.

This article would not only be clearing doubts but will also tell you more about the part of your internal body called the ribs and how many ribs does a man have.

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How Many Ribs Does A Man Have

The human ribs are a group of bones which are long, flat, curved that makes up the chest. There are 12 pairs of ribs, total of 24 in both men and women. The only exceptions to this are people born with genetic abnormalities.

Some of which have extra of about 13 pairs of ribs and are called supernumerary ribs and some have lesser of about 11 pairs of ribs and they are called the agencies of the ribs.

The belief that men have fewer ribs than women is so viral but incorrect.

Anatomy Of The Ribs

The ribs has the following anatomical components;

1. The Head

It has two articular facets separated by a wedge of the bone. One facet articulates with the numerically corresponding vertebrae and the other articulates with the vertebrae above.

2. The Neck

It does not contain any bone but comments the head to the body. The area were the neck and body meets has a rough tubercle with a facet that articulates with the transverse process of the corresponding vertebrae.

3. The Body

This is also known as the shaft. It is normally flat and curved. It’s internal surface has a groove for a bundle of nerves and blood vessels that supply the thorax. It protects the vessels and nerves from damages.

A Typical Rib

A typical rib does not have all the features mentioned above. This typical ribs are;

  • First Rib: It is wide and short with two costal groove and one articular facet.
  • Second Rib: It is thin and long with a tube mostly on its superior.
  • Rib Ten: It has only one articular facet.
  • Rib Eleven and Twelve: It has only one articular facet with no neck.

Classification Of The Ribs

These are the classifications according to their attachments to a sternum;

1. True Ribs

The true ribs articulates directly with the sternum and their costal cartilages from the first to the seventh rib.

They articulate with the sternum by the Sternocostal joint. The first rib is an exception.

2. False Ribs

The false ribs articulates indirectly with the sternum because their costal cartilages connect with the seventh costal cartilages by the costochondral joint.

Examples of this rib are the 8,9 and 10 ribs.

3. Floating Ribs

The floating ribs does not articulate with the sternum. Examples of these ribs are the 11 and 12 ribs.

Functions Of The Ribs

The ribs has two vital functions;

1. They protect the important organs found in the chest. Examples; the heart, the liver, the lungs and the spleen.

2. They maintain space in the chest. It helps the lungs expand and contract during breathing process.


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Ribs Number Variation

Majority of people are born with 24 ribs. However, some people are born with extra or less ribs. When people are born with more than 24 ribs, it is called supernumerary ribs. When people are born with less than 24 ribs, it is called agenesis of the ribs.

This ribs number variation can be caused by the following;

1. Spondylothoracic Dysplasia

Spondylothoracic dysplasia is also known as dysostosis. It is an autosomal recessive condition. People who are born with this condition have fuse ribs and vertebrae. They also have very small chest cavities.

2. Cervical Rib 

This is a generic condition that affects any sex. It causes some people to be born with one or two extra ribs between the base of the neck and the collarbone. This ribs may be fully formed bones or tissue fiber strands that do not contain any bone.

People who are born with this condition experience neckpain and lots of discomfort.

3. Goldenhar Syndrome

This is also known as a oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum. It is a congenital condition. People who are born with this symptoms may be partially formed and their ribs may be missing, fused or not fully formed.

4. Spondylocostal Dysplasia

This is also known as spondylocostal dysositosis. It is a rare recessive disorder that causes the abnormal development of the ribs and spine. People who have this condition may have a missing or fused rib.

5. Down Syndrome

This is also known as trisomy 21. It is a chromosomes disorder. People who are born with this condition have an extra rib or a missing 12th rib.

Does Rib Abnormalities Need Treatment

Rib abnormalities do not need any form of treatment unless it causes problems. Some of the problems ribs abnormalities can cause includes; problem with breathing, pains, abnormal growth.

If at birth, a child has a smaller chest size or difficulty with breathing, treatment has to be focused on the respiratory support system.

Spinal cord problems can be treated surgically or with a brace. Missing ribs van sometimes be treated and connected surgically.

If there is no problem, ribs abnormalities does not necessarily need to be treated.


The Biblical story of Adam and Eve has really led people to believe or think that men have fewer ribs than women which is so untrue. Having looked at the anatomy and all we need to know about the ribs, it has been concluded that on the normal, human beings have 12 pairs of ribs regardless of the sex.

Which answers the question. Men have 12 pairs of ribs which is a total of 24 ribs, just like women and just like every human being.