The ribs connect on the front of the chest with the long flat sternum, or breast bone, and on the back with the vertebral column, creating a cage of protection for the lungs and heart.
Last reviewed 8/2/2011 by Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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