New insights in the analysis of blunt force trauma in human bones. Preliminary results

Sarah Scheirs, Assumpció Malgosa, David Sanchez-Molina, Marisa Ortega-Sánchez, Joan Velázquez-Ameijide, Carlos Arregui-Dalmases, Jordi Medallo-Muñiz, Ignasi Galtés*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Web of Science)


Determining the time of injury is an important but still a challenging task in forensic anthropology. In literature, many descriptions can be found to make a distinction between perimortem and postmortem fractures. Characteristics that are more related to fractures in fresh conditions, however, are not extensively investigated. This study compared 28 perimortem fractures from autopsies and 21 both fresh and dry experimentally reproduced human bone fractures. Preliminary results showed the following five distinct traits that might be related to perimortem conditions: layered breakage, bone scales, crushed margins, wave lines and flakes with matching flake defect. These distinct traits might not only be good estimators of perimortem trauma but also may be an indicator of trauma in intra vitam conditions, especially related with muscular reaction to injury. Furthermore, layered breakage seems to be a good trait to infer the biomechanics of trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-875
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • Bone trauma
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Perimortem trauma
  • Time of injury


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