Biomechanical analysis of controlled tibial blunt force trauma

Nicholas Dempsey, Felicity Maria Gilbert, Justyna Miszkiewicz, Marc F. Oxenham*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The analysis and interpretation of skeletal injuries caused by blunt force trauma (BFT) is often critical to reconstructing a victim’s osteological profile. The manner in which bone fractures in response to BFT is a complex multiphasic process that involves interactions between mechanical force, skin and the musculo-skeletal system. To further improve our understanding of how bone fractures under mechanical force, this study investigated whether a quantifiable relationship was discernible between force and specific fracture outcomes (maximum fracture length, total fragment count and total anterior/posterior radiating fracture lines) and how anatomical factors influenced those outcomes. Fleshed sheep tibiae (Ovis aries, n = 30) were subjected to three conditions of force (90 N, 112 N and 135 N), ten tibiae at each force. Results indicate that a significant relationship exists between force and fracture length with respect to 90 N and 112 N force outcomes. No significant relationship was discernible between the level of force and the outcome variables of total fragment count and total anterior/posterior radiating fracture lines. These preliminary results suggest there is potential for further analysis of bone fracture behaviour under mechanical force with consideration to a broader suite of soft tissue and skeletal variables.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-548
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Journal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number5
Early online date6 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2019


  • bone fractures
  • controlled force
  • Skeletal injuries
  • trauma


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