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From The CriticsReviewer: Edward Abraham, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This book deals with disorders of the musculoskeletal disorders commonly seen at work.
Purpose: The purpose is to concentrate on job-related injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system as they relate to epidemiology, workplace, and treatment strategies to minimize lost workdays. These important objectives were met for the most part.
Audience: Although not stated by the authors, it appears that the book is written for a wide spectrum of healthcare professionals, ranging from orthopedic surgeons to physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists to industrial nurses and therapists to lawyers. The editors are fully qualified and internationally known. Also, the contributors appear to be carefully chosen for their expertise and contributions to this field.
Features: The book is divided into five parts: Basic Concepts, Ergonomics, Prevention, Clinical Evaluation and Patient Care, and Legal. The Basic Concept section deals with the epidemiology, biomechanics, psychology and cost factors. In section two, the emphasis is on ergonomics or how the workplace can be safely altered to adapt to the worker. The third covers the preventive aspects of industrial medicine. The fourth and most important part covers the clinical evaluation and patient care. Here, each body segment is examined as it relates to epidemiology, ergonomics biomechanics, prevention, clinical examination, treatment, and prognosis of a given disorder. Finally, the fifth part covers legal issues such as the American with Disabilities Act and the impact laws have on the healthcare delivery system.
Assessment: The foreword by Victor H. Frankel, President, Hospital for Joint Diseases New York University Medical Center, correctly compares this young specialty of occupational orthopedics to sports medicine. In both fields, the object is to treat and rehab the injured individual as quickly as possible and return the patient back to a safer workplace with as little financial loss to all parties concerned. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons also recognized the importance of the workplace injury and published a symposium on Repetitive Motion Disorders of the Upper Extremity in 1995. It is clear that the field of occupational medicine is an important one. The need to understand and better deal with workers' compensation issues has far reaching benefits. The book is going to have a broad appeal to the medical and legal communities. Orthopedic surgeons, physical medicine, and rehabilitation physicians are strongly encouraged to purchase this book. Also, industrial medicine personnel ranging from treating physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists can use this work as a good resource. The legal community can draw valuable objective information from this book.