Blunt force trauma: Injuries resulting from an impact with a dull, firm surface or object. Individual injuries may be patterned (eg ,characteristics of the wound suggest a particular type of blunt object) or nonspecific. Although this article focuses mainly on external injuries, blunt force trauma may cause contusions and lacerations of the internal organs and soft tissues, as well as fractures and dislocations of bony structures. The major types of cutaneous blunt force injuries are as follows:


A scraping injury to the superficial layers of the skin (epidermis and dermis) that results from friction against a rough surface (see the following 2 images)


Abrasion on the elbow.


Abrasion on the knee.

Contusion (bruise):Edit

Hemorrhage into the dermis, subcutaneous tissues, deep soft tissues, and internal organs as a result of rupture of blood vessels following impact with a blunt object or surface (as shown below).

Two contusions on the skin of the chest.

A contusion on the arm.

Cross section of brain with cerebral contusions on the inferior surface.

Laceration: Edit

A bursting of the skin or other tissues resulting from compression or stretching associated with impact by a blunt object or surface (see the following images).

Two abraded lacerations on the forehead

A laceration near the vertex of the scalp.


A more severe form of laceration in which the soft tissues, musculature, and/or bone are torn away from the normal points of attachment (as seen in the image below).

Avulsion of the right leg

Fracture: Edit

A break, rupture, or separation of tissue (most often bone) resulting from an impact (see the following image).


These injuries are often seen in combination with one another. For example, abrasions are often found at the margins of lacerations. Abrasions, lacerations, and contusions are often noted adjacent to fractures

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