Thoracic Vertebrae and Ribs

(Lateral view)

The vertebrae pictured here are from the middle of the thoracic region. Note how the anterior vertebra overlaps the posterior vertebra.

Note the general manner in which the ribs articulate with the thoracic vertebrae. The head of the rib fits into small depressions located on the centrum of the adjacent vertebrae known as demifacets. The tubercle articulates with the costal facet, located on the transverse process of the more posterior vertebra, and the ribs angle posteriorly at the point of articulation.

First Thoracic Vertebra

(Anterior view)

The first rib articulates solely with the first thoracic vertebra. The head articulates with the demifacet and the tubercle articulates with the costal facet.

Last Thoracic Vertebra

(Anterior view)

The last three thoracic vertebrae lack transverse processes and the ribs associated with them lack tubercles. Note how the articulation is solely between the head of the rib and the demifacet.

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