Today I read an article about "rib subtotal removal" for plastic surgeries for "Waistline reduction". In the article, the author (Dr Barry) mentioned "Only the most outer or distal portion of the ribs are taken". Could anyone help me identified which part is the "distal portion of the ribs". Is it "the cartilage part" or the "part that connected to the backbone ?" enter image description here

In rib removal surgery it is important to appreciate that only a portion of the ribs are removed. The more appropriate term would be subtotal rib removal or resection. Only the most outer or distal portion of the ribs are taken. There is no benefit to chasing the rib resection back under the semispinalis muscle near their vertebral facet attachments. Only about 5c to 7cm lengths of the rubs are removed. Thus many soft tissue attachments remain for core body support.

Source of the article: http://exploreplasticsurgery.com/understanding-rib-removal-surgery-waistline-reduction/

1 Answer 1


The part of the ribs that articulates with the thoracic vertebrae (in your spine) is called the proximal end and the part that articulates with the costal-cartilage / sternum (in the centre of your chest) is called the distal end. The 11th and the 12th pair of ribs only articulates with the thoracic vertebrae (proximal). They are called as floating ribs.

Ribs project from proximal articulating facets with thoracic vertebrae, slant forward, and depending on the rib pair under consideration, articulate at the distal end with either the sternum, hard cartilage or ‘float’ freely (Jurmain et al 2011).


  • Thoracic vertebrae are in your spine, yes? And sternum is your chest? Commented Jul 29, 2017 at 12:40
  • Yes, the sternum is the dagger shaped bone in the chest and the thoracic vertebrae is in the spine as you can see in the image of the question.
    – Mesentery
    Commented Jul 29, 2017 at 13:19

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