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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Tariq M. Malik, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This excellent book on the techniques for ultrasound-guided pain procedures covers all injections, including for the spine, joint, and peripheral nerves, that have ever been described.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a textbook of ultrasound-guided pain injections. The first book of its kind, it fills a great void in this field.
Audience: It is essentially intended for pain physicians who practice interventional pain medicine. It also can be a great asset for other physicians who do diagnostic or therapeutic acute or chronic pain injections such as rheumatologists, neurologists, emergency physicians, or physiatrists. Despite the many experienced contributors, the editor is successful in maintaining the same level of quality throughout the book.
Features: The introductory first section covers the basics of ultrasound machines and ultrasound waves and discusses in depth the art and science of different techniques to improve needle visibility during pain procedures. Subsequent sections deal with different regions of the body — the spine, abdomen-pelvic region, peripheral nerves, musculoskeletal - with a final section on the use of ultrasound in peripheral nerve neuromodulation. The section on the spine is most impressive, covering both regular and sonoanatomy in great detail. All spinal and paraspinal injections, from top to bottom including sacroiliac joint injections, are covered. The musculoskeletal section covers all main joints and bursa injections commonly done in a pain practice. All the routine peripheral nerve blocks and catheter placements used in the acute setting are covered. All chapters follow a similar format and end with a very good reference list. Each clinical chapter covers anatomy of the block, indication for the block, limitations of current injection techniques, sonoanatomy, ultrasound-guided injection techniques, and, finally, a literature review of the technique. The description of techniques is quite good, covering all the important steps like patient position, probe selection, needle visualization, and end points for successful injections. This focused book is a great leap forward in the field of ultrasound-guided pain medicine. The book is quite detailed with many illustrations, but for an atlas, there is relatively more text than images. The pictures and images are very clear, but in real life, few patient images have such clarity. The authors would have done their readers a service if they had included a host of images from different patients for the same procedure to show the scope of variability. The addition of pictures showing the placement of the probe to complement the ultrasound images also would have added more clarity. But, as the editor suggests, the book cannot teach anyone how to do a block unless that person is already very skilled in handling ultrasound probes and reading ultrasound images.
Assessment: It's hard not to be impressed with this book. It is a must read for anyone who practices ultrasound-guided pain injections. The chapter on spine sonoanatomy is a thing of beauty and it alone makes this book a must buy.