- Ribs articulate with the spine posteriorly at the costospinal joints, and with the sternum anteriorly at the sternocostal joints.
- There are two costospinal joints posteriorly: costovertebral joints where the ribs meet the bodies of the spine, and costotransverse joints where the ribs meet the transverse processes of the spine.
- The sternocostal joints anteriorly can be divided into the costochondral joints where the ribs articulate with their costal cartilages, and the chondrosternal joints where the costal cartilages of ribs articulate with the sternum. There are also interchondral joints where the costal cartilages articulate with each other.
- Rib joints allow elevation and depression of the ribs.
- The costovertebral joint where a rib meets the spine at the vertebral body usually articulates with two adjacent vertebral bodies at their hemifacets, as well as the disc between.
- The costovertebral joints are also known as costocorporeal joints (corp means body).
- All ribs articulate with the spine posteriorly. Ribs #11 and #12 do not articulate with the sternum anteriorly (they are termed floating ribs).
- Elevation of the rib cage is involved with breathing in (inhalation/inspiration).
- Depression of the rib cage is involved with breathing out (exhalation/expiration).