Is My Longer 12th Rib The Cause of Pelvic and Rib Pain?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have been researching possible issues related to my 12th rib. I have both pelvic and rib pain over the last 3 years. Is my12th rib on the right unusually long? I can easily feel it when palpitating the area. I have been struggling to find a diagnosis or treatment plan. 

Thank you for any information you can provide. I appreciate your time so much! 

A: It is clear from your 3D CT scan the right 12th rib is longer than the left. Most 12th ribs are very short, the shortest of all 12 ribs, so your right 12th rib is longer than normal. Most of the time they are not palpable from the outside. If you have rib/pelvic pain on the right side then your diagnosis would be Ilio-Costal Syndrome. This is a well known ribcage anomaly due to a longer 12th rib. Its subtotal removal is the surgical treatment of it that provides a definitive relief of the discomfort caused by it.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana