Edited by Mehul J. Desai
Published July 2018 by Oxford University Press
I was impressed by the title as not many books concentrate on the spine (from top to bottom and more) in such a way. So this is a refreshing and interesting method to review an important human structure that can cause so many clinical problems which are often not always easy to treat. The title states “handbook” understates it’s impressive and detailed contents as this is a chunky 66o page good sized book that covers it’s topic in ample and impressive detail.
I have never come across a textbook that is dedicated to the spine-though I am sure there are plenty out there and it carries out its task with great dedication. It covers the topic in great detail, probably too much for primary care (though I found-as a generalist- some sections of this book very interesting to read) and is probably best pitched at a specialist spinal treatment service. Even so there are fascinating snippets of information in the book, for example in the key points section in page 254, it states about up to half of all chest pains could be musculoskeletal (from the chest area) in origin.
Anyone wanting to have a detailed and enhanced knowledge update on the spine could be interested in investing in this book. It is well written and is a book from North America but will have wide appeal to healthcare professionals throughout the world. The text is interspersed with a good mixture of tables and images and some pages are not completely full of text which if you want, could allow you to add your own notes. Most of the images are very clear and enhance the text.
The coverage is very in depth but clinically focussed and detailed references can be found at the end of each chapter. Managing spinal pain can be tricky and I am sure this book will help the interested practitioner and covers interesting areas. A good example is chapter 29 “Opiods in spine pain: indications, challenges and controversies” which is well worth a read. However each section of the book can easily be dipped into and specific areas can easily be read around. In addition to the sections on the cervical spine, thoracic spine and lumbar spine issues such as spinal tumours, scoliosis and platelet rich plasma injections are also covered.
This book for the right person/clinical unit or unit library is potentially good value for money as it has very good coverage on a specific topic. The book appears up to date, being published a few months ago (at the time of this review being written) and the only major criticism I have is that there is no on line version bundled with the price of the book. I am sure that this book will be greatly appreciated by a significant number of readers. It is a really good specialist book for specialist practitioners but as a generalist I too appreciated some of its wisdom.
Dr Harry Brown