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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Edward Abraham, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This fourth edition textbook addresses the diseases and disorders of the child and adult spine in a comprehensive and thorough manner in two volumes. The editors' main objective, clearly stated, is to inform readers of the important relationships between clinical disorder and basic science, natural history, clinical course, proven treatment modalities, and outcome studies.
Purpose: As in previous editions, the editors continue to emphasize the importance of the team approach to patient care between orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, neurologists, radiologists, psychiatrists, and basic scientists. It is clear that these objectives are met.
Audience: This book is written for spine specialists. A secondary but important audience includes other orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, neurologists, and psychiatrists. The six editors are all senior orthopedists and they represent the new editorial leaders for this edition, which has many contributors. The editors have amassed some of the finest people to collaborate on this monumental, blockbuster work.
Features: The book is divided into ten sections. They cover such topics as "Basic Science and Diagnosis," "The Child's Spine," "Arthritis and Disc Disease in the Adult," "Deformity," "Trauma," "Infections of the Vertebra," "Principles and Techniques of Spine Surgery," and "Complications and Rehabilitation." Newer sections include outcome research and laproscopic and endoscopic surgery. Most chapters are enhanced by illustrations. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on alternative forms of disk excision. Figure 27-18, which tries to explain the ligamentum flavum flap technique was the only one I found difficult to understand.
Assessment: As a proud owner of the first edition volumes and one who has read them from cover to cover, I can truly appreciate the great efforts the current editors are taking to preserve the vision Rothman and Simeone had for a comprehensive textbook on spinal disorders they named The Spine, 3rd Edition (W.B. Saunders, 1992). This textbook is very highly recommended for all spine specialists and others caring for the spine in both children and adults. It represents a landmark reference on the spine and it ought to be on the shelves of all medical science libraries.