picky_dragon (picky_dragon) wrote in little_details,

Living without a rib or two

Is it possible to survive without one or two of your vertebro-sternal ribs, without any prosthetic to take their place? Or part of the breastbone, even?

Specifically, I need a way for a character's heart to be unprotected by any skeleton, but still covered with skin, etc, and still function reasonably normally in her chest. If this is not possible, I can fake it, but I'd like to know in advance whether such a part-removal can be survived in reality or if I'm gonna have to magick up an excuse for her to still be breathing. :)

EDIT: This is a deliberate surgical bone removal I'm talking about here, not a birth defect.

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