Mark Miller, Jennifer Hart and John MacKnight
Published by Elsevier (May 2019)
Put simply, this outstanding book is truly superb and I could just leave it like that and you would have a fair idea on what I think about this great book. But it is only fair for me to explain a bit more on how I came to this conclusion. The main intended audience of this book are health care professionals who are not primarily orthopaedic specialists (though some may also find this helpful). It is primary care physicians, specialist nurses, physiotherapists, musculoskeletal specialists amongst others who will find this book very helpful. Considering the bulk of orthopaedic care does not take place in a specialist clinic or operating theatre but in many disparate primary care settings, this gives this book a potentially wide audience.
The title says essential but in fact this book covers 939 pages of information between its covers and is beautifully produced. However the information presented is far more than just essential and from my perspective, it is pitched at the right level for an interested GP in the UK.
It is published on high quality paper with plenty of well-produced and clear images that certainly amplify the excellent text. The chapters are short and tend to concentrate on a specific topic area which means, it does not take the reader long to read around a specific topic. The text is used sparingly with liberal use of bullet points and short sentences to aid rapid and effective absorption of information. The book is well written and consistently edited which is impressive as there are a large number of contributors. It seems that most if not all the contributors, come from the United States but even so, this book has plenty to offer a global audience.
It covers paediatrics and adults and not surprisingly for such a good orthopaedic book, it is strong on anatomy and explanation of images. For some people, orthopaedics can be a mystifying discipline and this book goes a long way to making the topic more accessible to a non-orthopaedic audience who are tackling musculoskeletal problems.
Included within the purchase price of the book, is access to the online contents of the book on the publisher’s electronic platform. This is a tried and tested platform which is user friendly and intuitive and is also available as an app or web version. The app version which for my iPhone is a 733MB download, so it can be used off line. Included in the digital version are a number of videos which are highlighted in the text of the book. For example, on Page 208 where physical examination of the elbow is discussed, there is reference to video 52.1
As I said at the beginning of this review, this is an outstanding book and I was truly impressed by the clarity of writing, the relevance to a practicing primary care physician and the excellent and liberal use of images. For the right user, this could be easily a one stop shop and although it is priced at just over £100, over a period of time for the right user, this could be a very good investment. This book is a pleasure to use and deserves to do very well.
Dr Harry Brown