Scientific article
Open access

Tympanal bone fracture in forensic practice

Published inInternational journal of legal medicine, vol. 135, no. 6, p. 2653-2658
Publication date2021-11
First online date2021-10-02

A tympanal bone fracture is an uncommon complication of head trauma and is mostly associated with a mandibular or petrous bone fracture. Upon reviewing the medicolegal literature, we could not find any publications on this topic. Tympanal bone fracture may lead to chronic complications (including external auditory canal stenosis and conductive hearing loss), with an important impact in both the medical and judiciary fields (e.g., chronic disabilities with loss of income). We decided to investigate the prevalence and mechanisms of tympanal bone fractures by means of a retrospective observational study on living victims who underwent head computed tomography after blunt head trauma and clinical forensic investigation at our center. We selected 159 cases of living victims with blunt head trauma (following an assault, traffic accident, or work accident) between January 2016 and December 2020. Re-examination of head imaging revealed 12 cases of tympanal bone fracture. Seven individuals showed cranial fractures involving the petrous bone (on the same side as the tympanal bone fracture). Three individuals had a temporomandibular fracture after a fall with chin impact. Only two victims exhibited an isolated tympanal bone fracture.

  • Blunt
  • Fracture
  • Head
  • Trauma
  • Tympanal
Citation (ISO format)
EVAIN, France, LÖVBLAD, Karl-Olof, FRACASSO, Tony. Tympanal bone fracture in forensic practice. In: International journal of legal medicine, 2021, vol. 135, n° 6, p. 2653–2658. doi: 10.1007/s00414-021-02682-0
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0937-9827

Technical informations

Creation10/18/2021 11:13:00 AM
First validation10/18/2021 11:13:00 AM
Update time03/16/2023 2:19:08 AM
Status update03/16/2023 2:19:08 AM
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