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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Tariq M. Malik, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This book, an update of a 2001 publication, briefly describes common pain conditions seen in chronic pain clinics.
Purpose: It is meant to help physicians in diagnosing common pain conditions in their daily practice. As noted in the preface, the stress is more on diagnosis than management because correct diagnosis makes treatment much simpler. In this way the book serves a very noble purpose.
Audience: All physicians who see patients with acute or chronic pain in outpatient settings are the intended audience. This makes the book very useful for pain physicians, emergency room physicians, primary care physicians, and orthopedic surgeons. The author is a well known figure in the field of pain management and needs no introduction.
Features: The book covers the body head to toe and each of the 16 sections deals with one part of the body. Every chapter has the same format, beginning with an ICD code for billing purposes and containing a brief description of the pathophysiology of the condition, followed by a concise description of clinical features, differential diagnosis, tests to confirm the diagnosis, and management. The text is supplemented by a variety of images of pathology slides, radiological tests, and illustrations. The book fulfills its objective of being an atlas of common pain conditions, although it is confined mostly to musculoskeletal conditions. It makes no mention of postherpetic neuralgia or chronic abdominal pain conditions or even lumbar facet arthropathy.
Assessment: The book is well suited for physicians in busy practices who want to quickly look up common causes of pain. It provides visual clues and helps make the process of diagnosis quicker. The updates in this edition make it more relevant.