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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Martin C. Yorath, DPM (Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science)
Description: This is a most entertaining small book is written to provide a tie-in between the evolution of the human foot to present day function and current clinical practice. In this regard, it is unique and it gives a modern approach to the classical work by Wood Jones.
Purpose: The purpose is to try to give the providers of foot and ankle care, as well as patients with pedal problems, some perspective about the 26 bones at the end of their lower extremities. As the authors suggest, there are more definitive texts regarding foot structure and evolution, but aimed at a narrower audience. This book has wide appeal and is needed to address the growing foot and ankle sector in the healthcare market. It is well written in this regard.
Audience: Although the authors state that they want the book to appeal to both providers and consumers of foot and ankle care, it would probably have limited appeal to the latter audience. Dr. Klenerman is a well respected and published orthopedic surgeon on the subject of the foot and ankle. Dr. Wood is a paleoanthropologist as well as a medical physician.
Features: The book starts out with a most useful overview of evolution of the human foot, then proceeds to cover basic foot function and gait development. These latter areas are briefly covered and will not impart very much new information to most foot and ankle providers, but they would be useful to the lay reader. There is a useful chapter on pedobarography, followed by an interesting chapter on the foot in action, including the more usual sporting events as well as the more unusual activities such as fire walking! Each chapter is well referenced, using classic as well as more recent works. The book is quite well illustrated with line drawings and graphs as needed. However, some of the diagrams are a little small; some more photographic material would have been more useful.
Assessment: This is an interesting book, although some may argue not essential. My personal belief is that any comprehensive provider of the foot and ankle should have at least a fundamental grasp of the evolution of the human foot. There are few books available which provide a concise summary of such material, and if for no other reason, this book should be in the library for such reference.