Fri. Feb 21st, 2020

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Extra Ribs in Humans, Some People Have Them

1 min read

extra ribs in humans

Were you aware that there are extra ribs in humans, well at least some humans? This really is sectacular, but no need for concern if you are one of the few blessed with this additional set of ribs.

Time for a simple counting game. It’s time to count your ribs. It’s simple to do, unless you are excessively overweight that is, and it might bring a surprise to some. If you are one of the special few you would have counted 26 ribs, thirteen on each side. What’s so special about this number? Keep reading to find out.

Extra ribs in humans, how many do most people have?

If you just counted your ribs and found that you have 26 of them you are a one in five hundred event. Most people are born with 24 ribs, a dozen on each side of the rib cage. But if you have more you’re a rarity. The extra ribs in humans are known as cervical ribs, or neck ribs. They usually appear, as one of the common names suggest, near the neck. They are caused by a congenital abnormality. But if you thought that extra ribs in humans was freaky, it gets even weirder.

In some extremely rare cases a few people have been known to have 2 extra cervical ribs, for a total of 28, or 14 on each side of the chest.


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18 thoughts on “Extra Ribs in Humans, Some People Have Them

  1. I counted & I have a extra rib, on top of Asperger’s Syndrome & ADHD Combined Type but thanks to the rewiring of my physical brain due to autism a extraordinarily rarely high IQ, tested by the Weschler Intelligence Scale so verified by MENSA, I can say living a physically violent life until 7 yrs ago I have been struck with multiple foreign objects & over approx. 100 times I only ever suffered a “split rib” while in a street fight with 16 men, me as a 16 yrs old, while being pulled towards the ground at the waist bent over when a cop showed up & from behind struck my back with a riot baton. I had in taken a large amount of Robitussin DM (in 1991 would cause hallucinations & uncontrollable behavior, my case violence) then with a dozen men striking me everywhere another cop struck behind my knees causing me to lose my feet on the ground & I was quickly over-powered, hog tied & taken to the local police department. Luckily my dad was a high ranking, well known & respected police management who with local police help convinced the 14 guys & 2 cops I hurt to not press charges. Once I was sobering up he put his cuffs on me, took me home & started chewing my ass, but all I could think of was the excruciating pain from my side to back that as I sobered up felt like a knife in me that made it hurt to breathe & move as time ticked by. I begged to go to the ER, but both parents said “deal with it” & for like 4 hours I just fought back tears. When they stopped yelling & went upstairs to sleep I needed to kill my pain so I went in my room, took LSD(acid) & listened to Pink Floyd’s The Wall laying flat on the floor not feeling any pain until it wore off & I passed out after 9 hrs until about 14-16 hrs later. Luckily my parents thought I was just too ashamed to show my face to them. I woke around 4am & tried moving but it hurt so much I used Gatorade bottles to pee in & snuck my mom’s pain pills to get to school where the nurse diagnosed me with “split rib” or where the cartilage between the ribs separates which there’s no fix, parents not letting me see a doctor I went to the library & found out that my dad’s motorcycle kidney protection adjustable vest & stealing mom’s pain pills is a improved version of what a ER would do & my friends mom worked at a hospital called me out of gym class, so my parents never saw me suffer. This extra rib though I think gave me extra armor or my split rib would’ve been a couple broken ribs or worse…a fractured vertebrae or spondylitic fractures or misaligned L5-S1 needing fusion. My homemade stability brace I learned from a orthopedic doctor friend probably saved me from severe spinal injury & MRI’s showed bone damage like a NFL player & a nerve conduction test found C-2 to C-6 with L-5 to S-1 & stenosis from trauma likely from years of street fighting coupled with extensive bodily stress from 4 years in the Marine Corps stationed in Kuwait while America didn’t know we were there on orders to attack Iraq. Since only the Marine Corps & Navy Seals with Navy medical corpsman stationed there no permission from the House was needed. It was not a joint operation & the Commondant of the Marine Corps only need answer to the Commander-In-Chief to attack or occupy foreign land. The Joint Chief of Staff is powerless to Orders from the President to the Commandant. I joined in 1995 & when I meet a Vet in a VFW & he asks how I got my National Defense Medal & Kuwaiti Service ribbon in1995-1997 I explain only the Marines were stationed as police for Kuwait, but the President on advice of Gen A.M. Gray have a full media blackout including civilian contractors or foreign press after the fiasco of Operation Desert Eagle/Desert Storm. This also gave the President truth in saying we were in peace time misleading thousands of Marines into thinking the volunteer military they joined was in peace not the selected police force of Kuwait should Sadam decide to convince Lybia &/or Iran to come over & kick our 35,000 troops asses because Saudi Arabia swore military assistance, but if you were there you know no Muslims will attack other Muslims for a judeo-christian country. The most Saudi Arabia would do is play neutral & I guarantee you secretly arm Iraq & launder them money to countries like Russia & China for jets, helos, tanks & long-range artillery guns while all of em deny it. Just like Iran will do now if Israel don’t calm down & quit trying to provoke them saying they got weapon grade nukes when Iran just wants peace while the right to have the technology we, China, UK, France the EU total & they want a seat at the UN, without being treated like the criminal in a room full of corruption we accept cause those corrupt nations saying democracy have corruption we don’t see or hear because we get privatized “media” that feeds us our info…like “ISIS” or “ISIL” 1st that’s what America news named it, 2nd if they’re recruiting in such big numbers how did the NSA, CIA or our reconnaissance or allies special forces like the Moussad or Mi6 not see these troops building up years ago? Easy, we called them Syrian rebels until the leader of Syria followed Israel and American orders so we need to keep the oil coming in & American people won’t vote for politicians keeping troops & profits flowing in the middle east knowing this was a Bush retaliation over oil started back when Bush Sr & Sadam got along because they were all part of OPEC when Sadam told America mind it’s business & Bush Sr got in office in went the Marines then Clinton backed us up Bush Jr got in & finished daddy’s job. Once America saw the money roll in & through OPEC Saudi Arabia got their share wasn’t nobody in the way…so then Israel decided if America can do it so can we so they attacked ravaged, poverty stricken Palestine. The only reason all Palestinian people haven’t fled is they got nothing, no where to go & nobody else will give them any more refugee status because surrounding nations took as many as they could & these other nations have their own problems & Israel has threatened privately that if a country takes them in they considered it to be hiding war criminals & Israel will send military to get them to intimidate smaller, weaker countries from facing the brutality of the Israeli military backed by US supplies.

  2. I have 2 extra ribs. Didn’t find out until I was 17 and in a car accident. But I also had a twin that died at birth and they said twins tend to have this Extra rib thing. I am currently 41 can’t put my arms above my head without passing out. Oh and I have relapsing r. Multiple sclerosis. Very low blood pressure.

  3. I was born with scoliosis and one extra rib, I am 54 years old and I am having severe right shoulder pain. I don’t remember which side the extra rib is on. I was a very small child when the extra rib was found. I remember the doctor telling my parents that I needed to have surgery, but my father would not allow it. He was too afraid of the surgery making me permanently wheelchair bound.

  4. I was told by a doctor at the Pain Clinic I have 26 ribs. The extra ribs are often associated with Transitional Vertebrae in the spine, in my case the lumbar region. Seems to be associated with pain & spinal problems. More of a curse than anything special. Restricts my movement as my hip bangs on the extra rib in certain positions. Don’t know if it’s a growth/development thing as a child but I should have been an inch or two taller than I am.

  5. I have one extra cervical rib on my right side. I had tinnitus in my right ear and some unexplained inner ear issues. I am right handed and I drop things ALL the time. My hand just opens up. I get pain in my left chest when the muscles in my neck gets too tense. If I fall asleep with my right arm above my head, it will go completely numb and I have to use my left hand to move it back down. I don’t fall asleep with my right hand/arm above my head anymore : )

  6. I have two extra ribs and had four extra teeth removed because kids kept teasing me and calling me a vampire…ive recently started reading up on all the myths legends and lore they all seem to cross reference the whole annunaki mythos so now im feeling confused and frightened after reading all sitchens stuff im afraid people are going to start calling me a reptillian shapeshifter next and hunting me it truely frightens me i wasnt raised by lizard people but i sure know the bittering sting and scrutiny of the scientists microscope i feel for lack of a better term alienated anyone else relate?

  7. Normal in my Family, they told me it was the Rib that God took from Adam to create Eve , which I excepted at that time ! Seems funny now, however: I also firmly believed in Santa Claus, the Easter-bunny the Tooth Fairy , and the Stork brought the Babies ! Nice while it lasted though !

  8. I was 6 weeks old and found out I have 2 extra ribs and two extra vertebraes. Im now 28 and in so much pain. My dad also had to argue with doctors for me not to have surgery bc I would be in a wheelchair earlier than expected. I’ve went to hospital my whole life. Nothing they can find for relief at all anymore

    I am one of those rare humans that had an extra cervical rib! For many years I didn’t know it and it didn’t bother me. An act as simple as going to the ladies room while having breakfast at Nordstrom’s Bellevue’s Irish Pub changed my life forever. I grabbed the handle to to enter the ladies room (it was not a round knob, rather one that you pull down on). I pulled down on the door handle and immediately heard what sounded like a bone cracking in my neck. I was completely immobile the very second it happened and the pain was unbearable. I screamed for my brother and servers from the restaurant ran to grab him for me. I was on the ground blocking the entrance & exit to the ladies room. My brother looked at me in horror. “Oh my God, TaTa (family nickname for me), what the hell happened”? I said “I just grabbed the knob and pulled it down and I think a bone cracked in my neck and I’m paralyzed in my upper body”, as the tears started to flow freely from the intensifying pain in my neck. Luckily, we were just across the freeway, less than a mile from Overlake Hospital. While the restaurant called 911 my brother knew he could get me there faster than an ambulance could so he scooped me up (luckily I was under 100 pounds at the time) and he carried me to the car where we drove FAST across the freeway to the hospital and he carried me into the ER. They saw me immediately and took x-rays. The very competent emergency room doctor eventually showed me on the x-ray that I was born with something rare – an extra cervical rib and it appeared to be bent and actually wrapped around my artery and my nerve bundle on my right side. He was 100% sure of his diagnosis and it sounded right to me and it looked to match the x-rays. By the simple motion of pulling down on the doorknob, it instantly made my extra cervical rib crack and I learned that was what I heard and felt breaking in my neck. He told me I would most likely require surgery. Over the next five years m, I sought treatment and was referred to dozens of physicians and surgeons… all to no avail. I would bring my x-rays in and most felt like the extra cervical rib wasn’t long enough to wrap around my entire nerve bundle. But all of my symptoms said differently. It was my right arm and I constantly dropped almost everything I held in my right hand. It regularly and often went completely numb from my upper neck on the right all the way through my hand and down to my fingers. I was in incredible pain year after year. The pain originated in my neck and went through my arm and was almost constant. Unless the arm was numb but even with my arm numb the neck pain was hard to bear and progressively got worse month after month after month. After so many doctors blew me off (all but the initial emergency room doctor), I finally was referred by a sports medicine doctor to a well known and highly respected surgeon, Dr. Mark Ombrellaro, Vascular Surgeon in Bellevue, WA. He was a cup of cold water to this very thirsty soul. I made the appointment with him, but I had no faith he would be any different in the many other doctors from the last 5 years. I checked in at the reception desk and for some reason I got a different feeling than I’ve had at other surgeons offices. Dr. Ombrellaro called me back and together we looked at my x-rays from years earlier. He said “has anyone ever done an ultrasound on your arm?” I told him no one ever suggested it and I didn’t even know it was possible. That was his first step after reviewing my x-ray films. It was amazing. I felt like light from heaven struck me and it was an “ah ha moment”! I could clearly see (as he pointed out to me on a print out of my ultrasound that I had absolutely no pulse when my arm pulled away from my body even by as little as a half an inch. No pulse whatsoever in my entire right arm and hand. That explained the numbness, the pain and the destruction to glassware, cell phones and anything I held in my right hand over the previous five years. Because I’m right-handed, I regularly would drop pens when trying to write and would go completely numb when working on my computer for more than 1-2 minutes. Since my job entailed a lot of writing and computer work, I didn’t know how much longer I could function without the full use of my right arm and hand. I could only do activity with that arm and hand for a few minutes at a time (at the very most) before the numbness set in. I couldn’t control it and over the years, I felt so guilty for constantly seeking help, only to be turned away again and again and again. I started to think perhaps I was a being a hypochondriac and all of these doctors and surgeons were right. But how can I make up such an incident that is so incredibly crazy sounding as how this all started years earlier and then completely lose use of my primary arm/hand? Deep down, I knew I wasn’t wrong. However, I knew that everyone in my life – family, friends, employees and colleagues started thinking maybe it was psychosomatic and they thought surely I was making it up and it was all “in my head “. I didn’t blame them. I would’ve felt the same if it were them telling me they’d been turned away by so many doctors for so many years. At some point, it’s only common sense to think “how can all of those doctors and surgeons be wrong”? However, I never had any symptoms of being a hypochondriac at any time in my life. I cannot believe how many surgeons and doctors brushed me off completely Year after year after year! FINALLY, this highly respected vascular surgeon was right in front of me validating EVERYTHING that I knew was there all along. He asked me how the hell I functioned for so many years without a pulse in my right arm and hand? He diagnosed me with thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). He said “you’re going to do fine through surgery and recovery because you’ve been through the worst of this already”. He showed me how my extra cervical rib bent that day many years ago and was literally wrapped around my nerve bundle and artery – almost strangling it. I asked him how all of the other physicians and surgeons could tell me that they didn’t think it was that significant. He went on to explain that because I was so petite and small, you had to look at it to scale and that’s how he knew with certainty that it was absolutely the cause of the problem. Phew! The very first Doctor in the ER was 100% right …..and the only one until Dr. Ombrellaro who could finally help give me my life back. I wished I had recorded the entire appointment with him. I stood up and gave him a BIG hug, profusely thanking him as I broke into tears. You have to understand this surgeon is very serious, 100% business and he was taken back by my overwhelming reaction. I said “just loosen up and take all the love and adoration because you deserve it. I told him he was about to change my life for the better. I was so grateful that our paths crossed. It seems so insignificant until it happens to you and you’re a young woman in your 20s in a career field and at a level most don’t reach until much later. And one that feels disabled and got turned away by doctor and surgeon after doctor and surgeon for so long. I wanted to call each of them up and tell them “I was right – I know my body”!! So he did not allow me to leave his office until we scheduled surgery for August 2, 2000 – A couple months away. At the time it was a pretty significant surgery and I stayed at the hospital for three nights. It took me several months to recover. I was off work for about 6 to 8 weeks. It was a long and difficult recovery but I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat because the relief was immediately apparent and use of my arm and hand came back about a month after surgery. Finally, I had restored use on my right side even when my arm was away from my body. Thank you Jesus & Dr. Ombrellaro! Just try using your arm and hand when it’s glued to your body and you’ll see how difficult it is to function like that. Impossible. The numbness was 100% gone. I felt like the dark clouds lifted and a new day dawned! He took out my extra cervical rib and my first rib. He told me that in approximately five years I would probably need another surgery to remove scar tissue (estimated August 2005). However, I was very disciplined with physical therapy and performed all of the assigned exercises at home, like constantly massaging my scar tissue to keep it soft and pliable, using a huge rubber band and pulling my arm is a part to build my strength back up. There’s internal stitches in a triangle shape right above my right breast (and it’s very hard and becoming quite painful) and an external scar that’s about 2 to 3 inches in my underarm on the right side. I believe the recovery time is significantly shorter now – about 2 weeks). Over the last few years I’ve had repeated worsening symptoms (not to the degree I originally had), but enough that it’s progressively bothering me more and more. It’s becoming something I cannot ignore much longer which led me to this site after performing a Google search. I definitely need to address the scar tissue and I know I’ll only be able to do that through surgery. However, considering that I was told I would need surgery five years later and now it’s 17 years later – that’s not too bad!!! Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. Thanks for taking the time to read my very long comments. Tasha

  10. Incidental finding in both myself & our 12th child, also female.

    Our daughter presented with a burning sensation in her thoracic cavity, proximal to her T5. Radiographic imaging showed 13th pair of ribs.

    I have rapidly peogressive, degenerative disc disease. Mine discovered in MRI. Incidental finding.

  11. I’m 53 years old, and have had intermittent pain in my mid to upper back. When I was nineteen, the physician doing a physical exam stated, “Wow, you have an extra rib!” I joked back, “Don’t you think we’d better find Adam to give it back?” He laughed, but said he wasn’t joking. It’s not too uncommon, but the second case he’d seen since his residency. He said if it caused any problems, it would probably be when arthritis began to set in my joints when I got older. My back would be the first to let me know. He was right. It’s really not that bad, just noticeable.

    One question that comes to mind is whether this oddity might occur with more frequency in certain y-dna or mitochondrial haplotypes. My m-dna haplotype is X2b. Would be curious to know if we share both this condition and haplotype. Just a thought.

  12. I really feel like a freaky of nature knowing that no one has ever heard of 16 ribs on the left side and 14 ribs on the right side. It is painful to have so many you can’t lay on your side because your ribs and hip bone touch but atleast I know that I’m not the only one born with extra ribs I just don’t understand why I have so many

  13. I have 4 extra ribs and 2 extra vertebrae. I got hurt as a teen and had to have back surgery that’s when the dr told me about the extras. I thought it was just from being 6’5”. But I’ve never had any problems what so ever from them. Just strange. An extra set of ribs is 1 in 500 what’s the odds of two extra sets? I guess I’m a rare bird. ??

  14. When i was 17 i got an xray after a car accident. This xray revealed i have 14 ribs. The doctor said not to worry because it typically didn’t cuase problems. So i didn’t, until one day the one on my right directly above my natural first set of ribs, popped! Then began to cuase pressure on veins slowly got worse and was pushing down on my nervesBut then had to do emergency surgery!!!!!!! It was a dangerous surgery because of close it was to my jugular. But now everything is okay.

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