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Ballistic trauma in human long bones

Forensic Expertise Area: Forensic Anthropology

Human Long Bone Fractures
Human Long Bone Fractures


The forensic examination of deceased victims of gunshot trauma is a frequent challenge in forensic medicine, in which the cause and circumstances of death must be reconstructed. In such cases most of the information is given by the analysis of soft tissues. However, in some forensic cases such as decomposed or skeletonized bodies this information often cannot be retrieved. In these cases, compartments of the body more resistant to decomposition, such as the bones, may provide clues about the circumstances of trauma and death. Cranial gunshot injuries have been well studied. Nevertheless, information on long bone fracture patterns and particularly those caused by firearms is very dispersed. Up until today there is no revision that compiles all the information. Understanding these injuries is highly relevant for the reconstruction of events. Reliable information about long bone fracture patterns is needed to differentiate between gunshot trauma and blunt trauma. The aim of this thesis is to develop a state-of-the-art review on ballistic trauma in human long bones in order to develop a practical guide on fracture patterns from gunshot trauma on long bones that can be applied by the forensic anthropologist.


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  4. Martrille, L., & Symes, S. A. (2019). Interpretation of long bones ballistic trauma. Forensic science international, 302, 109890.
Institute Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences Catalonia


Forensic Pathology and Anthropology

Supervisor :        Dr Ignasi Galtés

UvA Co-assessor : 

Prof Roelof-Jan Oostra
UVA Coordinator Arian van Asten/Yorike Hartman