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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Tariq M. Malik, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This book covers all aspects of acute and chronic pain in a simple and direct way, making it an ideal quick reference source. It has been significantly updated since the 2005 edition, adding new chapters on chronic pain while pruning chapters on regional anesthesia. This edition is also available online via an access code, making it accessible 24/7.
Purpose: It is designed as a main source of information for pain fellows, pain practitioners, and anyone taking pain certifying examinations.
Audience: Although intended for trainee physicians and practicing pain practitioners, the book has enough information that any physicians who manage patients' pain in their clinical practice will find something to improve their skills, knowledge, or understanding in this area. The book is written by a group of people who have been in pain management for a long time.
Features: Initial sections cover basic pain neuroanatomy and physiology, followed by a section with a comprehensive evaluation of a pain patient that includes imaging studies, psychological evaluation, and other laboratory studies. The book then extensively covers the pharmacology of drugs used in pain management, as well as surgical and nontraditional, nonpharmacological therapeutic interventions. Different modalities of perioperative pain management are detailed, such as systemic and neuraxial opioids, nerve blocks, and nerve catheters. A separate discussion details pain management in pediatric, elderly, and pregnant patients. The book also covers common chronic conditions, injection techniques performed in a pain clinic for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes, and techniques for different somatic nerve or plexus blocks for regional anesthesia. The whole book is well written. Every discussion of a disease condition includes epidemiology, pathology, clinical evaluation, and evidence-based management. Injection techniques are covered in a very simple format of indication, technique, and complications. The book is well illustrated and the text is supported by many tables and treatment algorithms. The concepts are outlined very clearly and important points are stressed as key points at the end of every chapter.
Assessment: Pain books come in various forms and sizes these days. Some stress procedural techniques, some the theoretical aspects of pain, and some their usefulness because of their pocket size. This is one of the few books that can truly be called a textbook of pain for pain fellows and practicing pain physicians. It combines up-to-date information with a clear delivery in quick, easy-to-read chapters, making it a go-to book for a quick reference.