Volume 50, Issue 6 (November 2005)
Fracture Pattern Interpretation in the Skull: Differentiating Blunt Force from Ballistics Trauma Using Concentric Fractures
There have been several anthropological studies on trauma analysis in recent literature, but few studies have focused on the differences between the three mechanisms of trauma (sharp force trauma, blunt force trauma and ballistics trauma). The hypothesis of this study is that blunt force and ballistics fracture patterns in the skull can be differentiated using concentric fractures. Two-hundred and eleven injuries from skulls exhibiting concentric fractures were examined to determine if the mechanism of trauma could be determined by beveling direction. Fractures occurring in buttressed and non-buttressed regions were examined separately. Contingency tables and Pearson's Chi-Square were used to evaluate the relationship between the two variables (the mechanism of trauma and the direction of beveling), while Pearson's r correlation was used to determine the strength of the relationship. Contingency tables and Chi-square tests among the entire sample, the buttressed areas, and the non-buttressed areas led to the null hypothesis (no relationship) to be rejected. Pearson's r correlation indicated that the relationship between the variables studied is greater than chance allocation.