© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. Literature on timing of rib trauma is scarce but remains challenging during forensic cases. This study analysed the macroscopic fracture patterns of perimortem rib fractures and compared them to experimentally reproduced rib fractures on fresh and dry ribs. Six distinctive macroscopic traits were found in ribs that might provide information about the timing of trauma, fracture mechanism and/or trauma circumstances. These traits are peels, folds, differential fracture edges, incomplete fractures, plastic deformation and longitudinal lines. Peels, folds and plastic deformation might provide information about trauma timing. Folds and different fracture edges might provide information about the fracture mechanism. Statistical analyses showed that longitudinal lines, folds and incomplete fractures might provide information about the trauma circumstances and that age might have an influence on the occurrence of complete fractures, longitudinal lines and peels (p ≤ 0.05). The new insights presented in this study might be valuable for forensic anthropologists in rib trauma analysis.
- Forensic anthropology
- Rib fractures