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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Tariq M. Malik, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This complete guide to interventional pain management contains detailed instructions and clear descriptions of each pain intervention, leaving nothing to chance.
Purpose: This manual of pain procedures is intended to help interventionalists in performing different procedures safely and properly. It also includes advanced and emerging procedures to bring pain practitioners up to date in their knowledge and skills.
Audience: Although written primarily for interventional pain specialists, namely pain fellows and practitioners, the book includes quite a few procedures that will be of use to anesthesiologists in acute postoperative pain settings.
Features: The first of the book's eight sections deals with physics and basic principles of different imaging modalities and discusses pharmacology of commonly used drugs in pain practice, especially neurolytic drugs. A significant discussion of radiofrequency and pulsed RF follows. The next five sections include chapters describing different nerve blocks or pain injection techniques. The book is formatted in such a way that it covers every block from head and neck to lower legs and everything in between, including thorax, abdomen, and pelvic. Every block description follows the same simple and clear format: history, anatomy, indications and contraindications, patient preparation, necessary drugs and equipment. This is followed by a step-by-step approach to patient positioning, C-arm angulations, needle entry, and trajectory. The block section ends with post procedure monitoring, possible complications, and clinical pearls for troubleshooting. All blocks are accompanied by detailed illustrations and radiographic images to show actual needle positions and dye spread. You could not ask for a clearer description. The final two sections deal with advanced injection therapies, intrathecal therapies and central and peripheral neurostimulation, which is meant to expand the horizon of pain practitioners. The book has very attractive layout. The accompanying DVD, which describes three procedures in full detail, is a real treat to watch. It's hard to find anything that is missing from the book and it is almost complete in every aspect. However, it has more illustrations than radiographic images and, as a pain practitioner, I always value radiographic images more than illustrations. Curiously, with the growing emphasis on ultrasound-guided pain procedures, there is no discussion of these even in the section on emerging techniques. However, none of this makes the book any less valuable.
Assessment: This is a well written and well illustrated book written in clear and easy to read manner. Compared to first edition, this one is more focused on pain procedures and has expanded its scope to target readers in other fields, like neurosurgery and rehabilitation medicine, who wish to practice interventional pain medicine. There are quite a few pain procedure books out there, but none is as complete and thorough while still practical as this one is. It can definitely be considered a textbook of pain procedures for interventional pain fellowship programs.