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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Tariq M. Malik, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This is an update of a 2008 compendium of uncommon painful conditions presented in a pictorial format.
Purpose: The purpose is to present uncommon conditions in a brief, easy-to-read fashion, a worthy goal with clinical implications for patient evaluation and management.
Audience: Although the book is intended for pain practitioners, primary care physicians and pain fellows also will find it helpful. The author is an experienced clinician who has authored many books in this area.
Features: Each of the book's 12 sections covers a region of the body, and each section devotes 10 or so chapters to uncommon conditions. Chapters follow the same format, covering the clinical description of the syndrome, outlining notable signs, symptoms, and the testing necessary to rule out other conditions, and noting mimics of the condition. Treatment options are then discussed, along with injection therapy if indicated, as well as complications of mismanagement by failure to recognize the condition. Finally, chapters provide clinical pearls as a parting gift. Every page has an illustration or an image, and the book provides new ICD-10 codes for every disease for billing purposes. The salient features of the book are its simplicity and brevity — no chapter is more than three pages. It is not an exhaustive book, and most of the conditions it covers are related to the musculoskeletal system, while leaving out quite a few abdominal or thoracic visceral pain conditions. Surprisingly, many of the conditions are quite common. In fairness, the book was never meant to be a comprehensive account of all diseases.
Assessment: This is a brief and to-the-point book on both common and uncommon pain syndromes. It will be a valuable addition to the office library of a busy ER or primary care practitioner, not just the chronic pain practitioner.