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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Tariq M. Malik, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This concise but complete guidebook to the diagnosis and management of neuropathic pain is a very good reference for physicians in both medical and surgical fields who are not used to seeing people with neuropathic pain.
Purpose: The book provides the necessary information about diagnosing and treating people in neuropathic pain. Meant for physicians who are not pain specialists, the book provides key information about the different drugs used and the different modalities of treatment available for treating neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is often misunderstood by non-pain specialists. This is an important book for primary care physicians who are, and need to be, more involved in managing these patients as this is a chronic, life-long condition. The book definitely fulfills its objective.
Audience: The audience includes any physicians who are likely to see patients with neuropathic pain. Particularly, this includes primary care physicians, orthopedic surgeons, and neurologists (apart from pain specialists). Because the book is written clearly and concisely, it is appropriate for students. At the same time, it is comprehensive enough that postgraduate physicians can find meaningful information.
Features: The first of the book's two sections covers clinical features of different neuropathic pains, namely complex regional pain syndrome, cancer neuropathic pain, central neuropathic pain, and peripheral neuropathy. An all-important chapter on epidemiology stresses the prevalence of this condition under different case scenarios. The eight chapters in the second section deal with different modalities of treatment from drugs to neuromodulation. Each chapter provides information about the drug and its clinical usefulness. Chapter 16 is a very good discussion about drug combinations and the rationale for using different drug combinations. The last chapter presents the experiences of people who are suffering from this disease in their own words. Finally, the book provides links to web sites with information about pain societies.
Assessment: The book is well written. It is concise while managing to include all the latest information and it's practical, providing guidelines about how to use different drugs. The beauty of this book lies in the way it approaches what could be a confusing topic and discusses it in a simple and practical way so the information can be useful for any one.