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From The CriticsReviewer: Martin C. Yorath, DPM (Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science)
Description: Finally, a book on foot and ankle surgery covering a subject that has not been addressed in depth before! While external fixation of the foot and ankle is not new, a book devoted to the subject is, and is long overdue given the plethora of devices now on the market and the ever expanding applications for which they can be used.
Purpose: This book is intended to unlock the mystery and break down the challenge of external fixation into its component parts. This is a worthy objective because, as Dr. Cooper points out in his foreword, these devices can appear daunting to all but the most experienced. The book handsomely meets its objectives and demonstrates very well that any foot and ankle surgeon could and should be capable of incorporating these devices into their surgical armamentarium.
Audience: It is clearly aimed at practicing surgeons (orthopedic, plastic, podiatric, or trauma) and the three main authors represent a combined orthopedic and podiatric view. Contributing authors are from these fields as well and provide a good balance. Residents will benefit from having this book in their specialty libraries, but it is too advanced to be of much use for students.
Features: The 23 chapters are well written, logically laid out, and very well illustrated with lots of excellent color plates and drawings. The book predictably starts with a review of the history of these devices, covers safe ones, biomechanics of external fixators, then goes on to cover a particularly novel aspect: a stepwise approach to the use and application of various types of external fixators in different clinical scenarios and different anatomic locations in the foot, ankle, and leg. Very well done!
Assessment: Foot and ankle surgeons, whether their focus is elective reconstruction, trauma, or diabetic foot reconstruction, will find this a very useful and welcome addition to the library shelf. It has few competitors and those that do discuss principles of external fixation (for example, Ilizarov Technique for Complex Foot and Ankle Deformities, Kirienko et al. (Marcel Dekker, 2004)) show their age when compared to this one. Surgical Reconstruction of the Diabetic Foot and Ankle, Zgonis (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009), certainly discusses some of the same topics, but at far less depth than this book. I recommend it heartily.