Fork rib

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Right fork rib in the x-ray. The 4th rib divides into two ends at the front.

The fork rib is a standard variant of the human skeleton in which the rib in the front part forks into two ends, hence the name. It is one of numerous possible malformations of the ribs and is also known in its classic form as the Luschka fork rib .

In slim people, especially children, it can almost always be felt in the anterior chest area . Since there is not enough space for a surplus rib, there are usually circumscribed protrusions that grow with you until the end of the growth phase. If this fork is in the bony rib portion, it can be shown on the X-ray image or it can be seen as a shadow. If the bifurcation is in the cartilage, this can easily be detected with ultrasound . Exostoses and old broken ribs can usually be distinguished clinically .


  • Joachim Brossmann, Christian Czerny, Jürgen Freyschmidt: Freyschmidt's »Köhler / Zimmer«. Limits of the normal and the beginnings of the pathological in the x-ray of the skeleton . Thieme, Stuttgart, New York 1989, ISBN 3-13-111723-0 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  • Jürgen Krämer (Ed.): Spine, Thorax (= volume of the series: Carl Joachim Wirth, Ludwig Zichner: Orthopädie und Orthopedische Chirurgie ). Thieme, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-13-126191-9 ( limited preview in the Google book search).