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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: W. Ben Kibler, MD (Lexington Sports Medicine Center)
Description: This book provides advice on medical conditions and sports performance issues for tennis players. The many illustrations allow understanding of the points discussed and symbols with each topic alert the player to the severity of the condition and who should be consulted for care.
Purpose: This book helps to fill a relative void in the lay literature about tennis injuries. This is a good effort at achieving a high goal — good medical information is presented in a lay format.
Audience: This book is written for the 20 million Americans who play tennis and need good information to play optimally with low injury risk. The primary author is well known in clinical sports medicine, and has written other books in the same vein.
Features: The strengths of this book lie in presenting a broad view of all the sports-related aspects of tennis — injuries, medical conditions, performance issues, therapy, alternative therapy, nutrition, and prevention. The guide symbols are helpful to decide severity and referral. The large number of illustrations makes the exercises understandable. The premise is to use common sense and prevent injuries. The major weaknesses of this book occur when, in trying to simplify injuries, the authors either oversimplify or misrepresent the problem. Examples of oversimplification include limited (and imperfectly illustrated) stretching for the posterior shoulder, isolated rotator cuff exercises for rotator cuff injury, minimal ligamentous contribution to shoulder stability, elbow braces helping to prevent tennis elbow, and stating that all patellofemoral pain is due to foot malalignment. Examples of misrepresentations include impingement of the short head of the biceps and nerves as a source of rotator cuff symptoms, stretching out of affected rotator cuff muscles, producing instability and/or rotator cuff symptoms, and the popliteal muscle being involved in tennis leg (which in itself is a poor term).
Assessment: There is a need in the lay literature for a complete book of this nature. This book illustrates the possibilities and difficulties inherent in such a book. Correction of oversimplification and misrepresentation, added to the positive structure of this book, may fill this need.