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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Edward Abraham, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This book covers the treatment and rehabilitation of Achilles tendon injuries.
Purpose: It is intended as a comprehensive guide to managing adult patients with Achilles tendon problems.
Audience: All medical professionals caring for adults with foot and ankle problems are the intended audience. Additionally, orthopedic residents and fellows, as well as podiatry trainees, can learn how to correctly care for the Achilles tendon.
Features: The work is divided into acute and chronic injuries and tendonopathies. A useful introductory section covers anatomy, ultrasound, and MRI of the tendon. The spectrum of acute tendon rupture treatments is covered in chapters on nonoperative management, percutaneous techniques, mini-open repair, and the classical open repair. The pros and cons of each method are fully explored and a detailed and proactive protocol to rehabilitate the treated tendon is presented. Experienced authors fully cover options to treat chronic injuries. The vexing problems of Achilles tendonopathies are an important part of this book. The authors differentiate between tendonopathies of young athletes and those of older sedentary individuals who are likely to have comorbidities. There are many intraoperative, two-tone photographs which, unfortunately, are not always easy to decipher. Replacing these with better, perhaps more expensive, medical illustrations gets my vote.
Assessment: Writing a book about the Achilles tendon is a daunting undertaking. Granted, "it is the largest and strongest tendon in the human body and subjected to tensile forces of up 12.5 times body weight ton during sprinting," as it states in the first chapter, but does this mean we are to look forward to a similar work on, say, the patellar tendon/ligament, another important structure? Nevertheless, the editor and the contributing authors pull this feat off. The work has particularly nostalgia for me because we published the original V-Y plasty procedure for chronic ruptures (JBJS1975; 57A: 253-5) from Cook County Hospital in Chicago. In addition to the big picture, the reader learns about such things as the patellofibular ligament, the exact location of the fabella, Kager's triangle, retrocalcaneal bursa, and pump bumps, tennis leg, the vario stable boot, etc. I highly recommend this work to all medical professionals caring for the adult foot and ankle. Orthopedic residents and fellows and podiatry trainees can learn how to correctly care for the Achilles tendon.