The purpose of this study was to describe radiological fracture patterns of the acetabulum sustained after fatal small aircraft aviation accidents, aiming at facilitating a better understanding of trauma mechanisms in a forensic setting. Postmortem conventional radiographs or CT scans of 29 victims of 20 small aircraft aviation accidents were analyzed for skeletal acetabular trauma. Among the 29 fatalities (27 males and 2 females, median age 55 years (range: 21–76 years)), 20 victims had pelvic fractures (69%), of which 19 victims (66%) had one or more acetabular fractures. Bilateral acetabular fractures occurred in 11 victims. When considering left and right acetabula in each victim as separate entities, 38 of the 58 acetabula included in this case series exhibited one or more fractures. Both the anterior and posterior acetabular columns were fractured in 28 acetabula. Acetabular fractures were frequently encountered in this series of 29 victims of small fatal aircraft accidents. Fractures of the acetabulum occur from ventrally directed impact (i.e. to the knee) or laterally directed impact (i.e. to the greater trochanter of the femur). Radiological descriptions of the fracture patterns can therefore aid in the forensic analysis of the mechanism of trauma in aviation accidents. Postmortem multi-slice CT scan images are preferrable in the assessment of acetabular fractures.
Baglivo M, Winklhofer S, Hatch GM, Ampanozi G, Thali MJ, Ruder TD. The rise of forensic and post-mortem radiology—analysis of the literature between the year 2000 and 2011. JOFRI. 2013;1:3–9.
Thali MJ, Viner MD, Brogdon BG. Brogdon’s forensic radiology. 2nd ed. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2010. CrossRef
Letournel E. Acetabulum fractures: classification and management. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1980;151:81–106.
De Bakker HM, Soerdjbalie-Maikoe V, Kubat B, Maes A, De Bakker BS. Forensic imaging in legal medicine in the Netherlands: retrospective analysis of over 1700 cases in 15 years’ experience. JOFRI. 2016;6:1–7.
Letournel E, Judet R. Mechanics of acetabular fractures. In: Elson RA, editor. Fractures of the acetabulum. Berlin: Springer-Verlag; 1981. p. 7–12. CrossRef
- Postmortem radiological case series of acetabular fractures after fatal aviation accidents
Henri M. de Bakker
Rick R. van Rijn
Bernadette S. de Bakker
- Springer US