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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Lawrence J. Horn, MD (Medical College of Ohio)
Description: This is a new contribution to the rehabilitation medical literature, authored by a variety of experienced clinicians. It is divided into three principal domains of physiatric procedures, including nerve blocks, spinal procedures, and other needle and non-needle mediated techniques. It does not address electromyography.
Purpose: The purposes are to first recognize and describe the diversity of procedures that may be used by physiatrists, and second, to serve as a standard reference for clinicians with regard to specific techniques.
Audience: Although purportedly designed to reinforce directly supervised residency training, this text seems more appropriately oriented toward physiatrists who have finished or are engaged in specific fellowships in spine or pain management; very few of the covered techniques are taught in detail in the majority of physical medicine and rehabilitation residency programs. However, physiatrists in training or in practice should have a thorough understanding of how these techniques are performed, and this book provides an excellent reference for this purpose.
Features: This book includes lavish illustrations, diagrams, and black-and-white photographs that augment what is, for the most part, very well written descriptive text.
Assessment: This is a thorough compilation of procedures that have direct bearing on a large part of physiatric practice, whether performed by physiatrists or others. The chapters vary as to discussion of complications, evidence for effectiveness, etc., but for the appropriately trained individual, it is a good reference and offers some helpful tips. Unfortunately, the book's weaknesses may be related to its emphasis on technique: in many cases the procedure, described in intricate detail, is taken out of context clinically, with insufficient discussion of where the procedure fits into a treatment algorithm. Also, the majority of physiatrists perform very few of the procedures discussed in the book. Nonetheless, as a reference for procedural technique, this book does fill a niche in physiatric literature.