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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Celia J Fang, MD (Washington University Medical Center)
Description: This is a rheumatology textbook written for the practicing clinician. Distinguishing features include a detailed "how to" chapter on joint aspiration and injection, a thorough guide to medications including the latest biologic therapies, and unique chapters such as pearls and myths of common rheumatologic problems, pregnancy and rheumatic disease, common running injuries, HIV rheumatic complaints, and complementary and alternative therapies. The first edition was published three years ago.
Purpose: The purpose is to be a "practical guide to the diagnosis and management of the complete range of rheumatological problems encountered in clinical medicine, from common musculoskeletal complaints to complex, multi-organ system inflammatory diseases." These are obviously worthy objectives as other resources may be too cumbersome and filled theoretical information to be useful at bedside of or office visit of a patient. For the most part, the book meets the objectives, though chapters regarding sports medicine are sparse.
Audience: The intended audience includes primary care physicians, rheumatologists, other specialists, fellows, house officers, medical students, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and those studying for board certification or recertification. As the authors of this book are credible authorities in their respective fields, and the book is well written and thus easily read, the intended readers would benefit greatly from this book.
Features: The first section is divided into "Approach to the Patient with X" and provides a thorough differential for the ailment. The rest of the sections go into more depth for each diagnosis, complete with treatment. The practicalities of this book cannot be overemphasized. The concise presentation gets at exactly what you would want to know when treating patients. The illustrations are also wonderful and easily to follow. I particularly liked the unique sections such as pearls and myths, painful prosthetic joints, injuries from running, and pregnancy and rheumatic diseases. Some of the details in the "Physical Exam of the Musculoskeletal System" chapter are ones I've never seen addressed in any other book. Shortcomings include the sparse information on sports medicine issues.
Assessment: I was impressed with this book and consider it one of the more useful books I've come across for use in treating patients. Not only is it a good book to read from cover-to-cover, but it's also a wonderful resource for injection techniques as well as therapeutics. No other book provides the practicalities like this does. Based on the ever-changing biologic therapies, one would imagine an update every several years makes sense.