In response to Dr Thibault's letter regarding our article, we would like to offer the following.
Dr Thibault states, "the intention of the study was to demonstrate that computational tools may be used to aid . . . in determining injury mechanism. . . ." and that our conclusions about injury mechanisms and intent are unsubstantiated. Our study objective, as stated in the article, was to demonstrate the usefulness of computer simulation techniques for investigating the influence of stair characteristics on injury biomechanics. We concluded that stair characteristics play an important role in the likelihood of injury, highlighting the need for documenting details of the environment in which a fall occurs. The goal of our work was not to determine injury mechanism, but rather to better understand specific contributors to injury risk. We drew no conclusion about injury mechanism or intent.
Bertocci GE, Pierce MC. Some Pitfalls of Computer Modeling. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002;156(3):296-297. doi: