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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Daun Chung, DO (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)
Description: A great resource for both physicians who specialize in spinal cord injury and those who do not, this book provides a clear overview of the various topics in spinal cord medicine without getting into too much detail. The references at the end of each chapter enable readers to continue with their education.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide relevant information in this area in a format that is easy to read and follow. Spinal cord medicine is a rapidly expanding field with much new research and information. This book presents this information in a clear and succinct way.
Audience: According to the author, this book is written for physicians who specialize in spinal cord medicine as well as those who may encounter patients with spinal cord injury in their practices (physiatrists, neurologists, primary care physicians, internists, and those in other medical and surgical subspecialties), fellows, residents, medical students, as well as members of the various disciplines in rehabilitation. The author is a well-known and respected physiatrist who specializes in spinal cord medicine.
Features: The book covers everything from basic anatomy and pathophysiology of the spine and spinal cord and their clinical relevance to various aspects of traumatic and nontraumatic spinal cord injury. The section on traumatic spinal cord injury covers prevention to assessment and management. The section on nontraumatic spinal cord injury covers the various myelopathies as well as commonly encountered neuromuscular conditions. The book also covers the physical function and rehabilitation of patients with spinal cord injury, the various medical complications that patients with spinal cord injuries could face, and psychosocial issues and life participation after spinal cord injury. What's also unique about the book is the section on systems-based practice that discusses systems of care, ethical issues, and patient safety. The book does a great job of providing the information in a clear and succinct way and the chapters are easy to read. The explanations of the traumatic and nontraumatic spinal cord injuries as well as the medical complications associated with them are areas that stand out. Chapters include useful tables and references as well as occasional "Practice Pearls" that focus on important key principles. There are no illustrations or drawings, which might be useful for certain topics, such as bowel and bladder dysfunction.
Assessment: This is a useful book for those wishing to learn more about spinal cord medicine. While it doesn't include every detail, it does a great job of providing information on the various topics in a clear and concise way. This would be a great resource for clinicians, particularly residents and fellows in an academic setting. I would recommend it to my colleagues interested in learning more about spinal cord medicine.