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Interpreting Blunt Force Injury Patterns in Bone: A Hands-on Approach

Primary Course Instructors: Steven A Symes, Ph.D., D-ABFA, and Ericka N L'Abbé, Ph.D., D-ABFA

February 16, 2020


This workshop offers a unique opportunity to address with a hands-on approach a number of issues in experience, application as well as the analysis and interpretation of blunt force traumatic injuries to bone in a medico-legal setting. 

Fracture interpretations found in the deceased run counter to the interpretation of fractures in a living person. In a living person, a fracture must be repaired so as to restore the patient’s well-being (medical health) and mobility. In an analysis of the bone fractures of a deceased person, the possible mechanisms that produced the injury are considered important and the purpose for interpreting these mechanisms is to provide supportive evidence for the cause and/or manner of death. In blunt force injuries, bone reacts to an external force as a bendable material that can elastically or plastically deform. If the bone progresses past elastic deformation, eventual failure is indicated as a fracture in the material. The biomechanics of bending bone create recognizable patterns that can be examined and interpreted.


Yet, despite presenting with biomechanically predictive fracture patterns, blunt force injuries to bone are highly variable due to the intrinsic and extrinsic factors along with the circumstances of the death event. This workshop will focus on using the basic biomechanics behind fracture propagation to address the interpretation of fractured skeletal structures for both single and multiple impacts and within the framework of contextual knowledge and total body trauma. In this workshop, hand-on opportunities for practitioners are provided along with lectures and focused group discussions around the application of the current methodology for analysing and interpreting traumatic injury in bone within a medico-legal setting. 

Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

*Approved for 7.25 AMBDI continuing education credit hours*


Course Location: Hyatt house at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA


Course Participants: Individuals over 18yrs of age. Limited to 28 course participants

Check out our course syllabus!


To register for this course: 

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