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Lumbar rib

German: Lumbalrippe

1 Definition

The lumbar rib is an accessory rib which inserts beyond the thorax at the transverse process of the first lumbar vertebra.

2 Background

The lumbar rib is a relatively rare anatomical variation, which is not related to any clinical significance. Injuries of the back cause a slightly increased risk of traumatizing the kidneys. Individuals with lumbar ribs do not show any increased probability for spina bifida or a scoliosis.

3 Occurrence

Lubar ribs occur in estimated 8% of the population. They occur more frequent at the first and more rarely at the second lumbar vertebra. Normally the caput costae is inexistent, causing a wide variability of the rib's size.

4 Clinical significance

Due to the proximity of the kidneys the lumbar ribs can cause painful discomfort.

5 Differencial diagnosis

Lumbar ribs must be distinguished from fractures and pseudarthrosis of the transversal processes.

Specialties: Anatomy

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