Description:This brief guide to orthopedic clinical assessment procedures commonly used by the orthopedic therapist updates the 1998 first edition.
Purpose:The authors' purpose was to provide therapists with an inexpensive but pertinent reference that covers orthopedic patient assessment. They have made a deliberate attempt to simplify the writing and layout of the book to facilitate comprehension. In this regard the authors have achieved their intended purpose.
Audience:It is written primarily for clinical professionals who will be working in an outpatient orthopedic setting, including physical therapists and athletic trainers. The book can serve as a classroom text or as a review/reference for practicing therapists. The academic background and clinical experiences of the three authors enables them to write credibly on the subject.
Features:As is customary in an exam text, major joint structures of the spine and extremities are covered. Separate chapters are devoted to each major joint complex. In addition, two new chapters are dedicated to the pelvis and neurodynamics of the upper and lower extremities not included in the previous edition. One of the best features of the book is its easy to read format and the fact that the authors have used a standard template to present the material. Part one (chapters 1 -2) of the book covers basic biomechanical principles of joint testing and history taking. In each of the subsequent chapters (3-15) the authors present a brief overview of a specific body region and pertinent facts regarding clinical assessment such as patient positioning, end feels, capsular patterns, open and closed packed positions, range of motion, muscle actions, etc., along with special tests. The inclusion of clinical syndromes with tables of common signs and symptoms is a useful way to help readers integrate clinical findings into a working diagnosis. Chapters 16-18 focus on posture and gait and include a unique section on footwear and a nice review of running and stair climbing biomechanics. The final chapter (19) covers neurodynamic testing for the spine and extremities. Many of the figures are very clear but some of the photos demonstrating exam procedures are a bit small. However, the authors use special symbols in the upper right hand corner of the pages for each test and measurement to facilitate finding information easily as well as arrows indicating movement direction. Another plus is that many of the clinical tests are accompanied by sensitivity and specificity values from the literature to validate their use.
Assessment:Overall, the book can serve as a useful reference for clinicians practicing in an orthopedic setting. Users of the first edition may want to consider purchasing the second edition. There are other more comprehensive books on the market, such as Magee's Orthopedic Physical Assessment, 5th edition (Elsevier, 2008), but this book can serve a suitable reference because of its easy to read format and unique coverage of some of the topics.