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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Edward Abraham, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This book deals with the surgical care of children and adults with all elbow injuries.
Purpose: The purpose is to make available to the busy orthopedist a good reference that deals extensively with the current management of elbow trauma, including sports-related injuries. These very worthy objectives are met for the most part.
Audience: The book is written for the general orthopedic surgeon and the sports medicine physician. The orthopedic resident will also benefit from this work. The editors and contributing authors are well known in the orthopedic field. Dr. Baker is a clinical assistant professor at Tulane and staff physician at the Hughston Sports Medicine Foundation in Columbus, Georgia and Dr. Plancher works for Plancher Orthopaedic Associates in New York city.
Features: Athletic and other elbow injuries are covered in 29 chapters. Some of the chapters are relatively short and deal with specific issues such as pronator syndrome and arthroscopic radial head excision. Excellent sections on elbow anatomy, surgical approaches and surgical techniques are presented. The arthroscopic treatment of ankylosis of the elbow is very well done. The text is supported by good drawings and photographs. Some chapters are better illustrated than others.
Assessment: The elbow joint is relatively problem free when compared to the knee or shoulder and, as such, it has received far less attention. With the advent of newer ways to successfully treat soft tissue injuries in high profile athletes and severe elbow fractures with good outcomes, there is now a growing interest in this complex joint. Bernard F. Morrey has produced the gold standard on the elbow with his recently revised textbook, The Elbow and its Disorders, 3rd edition (W.B. Saunders, 2000). With this new book, Baker and Plancher make a valiant and noteworthy attempt to emulate Morrey's masterpiece, but theirs comes up short in some areas. For instance, in chapter 19 the authors write about the classification of Capitellum fractures but they fail to discuss treatment options. These omissions are common to first edition books and they should not detract from the importance of this work. I highly recommend it to all orthopedists caring for patients with elbow trauma. Medical science libraries need to have this book available for their readers.