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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: B. J. Manaster, MD, PhD (University of Utah School of Medicine)
Description: This book, the fifth offering in the Core Curriculum series, has expanded upon and replaced Dr. Chew's popular second edition of Skeletal Radiology: The Bare Bones (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1997). Dr. Chew has added two coauthors for this update.
Purpose: According to Dr. Rogers in the foreword, this book focuses on essential information needed for radiology musculoskeletal rotations and written boards. He outlines the need for such a book to "provide the uninitiated with a working knowledge of skeletal disease" and states that the authors "have left considerable flesh on the bones." There is a further objective of outlining the proper approach to the interpretation of various studies. These are indeed worthy objectives. Most radiology residents know virtually nothing of musculoskeletal disease processes prior to their radiology musculoskeletal rotations. The book meets the objective of providing a working vocabulary and introduction to the topic for residents. However, the book does not meet the objective of providing the breadth of knowledge necessary for the written radiology boards or preparation of the resident to be an effective radiologist in the field of musculoskeletal radiology.
Audience: The book is written primarily for radiology residents, though it can also be useful to students in other specialties who are dependent on musculoskeletal imaging. The authors are excellent and credible authorities on the topic and indeed this book is an extension of a previously very well written and popular book. The book serves nicely as an introduction to musculoskeletal radiology, but is not sufficiently detailed to serve as the resident's primary book from which to learn this subspecialty.
Features: The book is divided into the classic sections of trauma, tumors, joint disease, and miscellaneous topics. A nice feature is the list of abbreviations and acronyms on the inside cover. The book is really an overview of musculoskeletal radiology. The pertinent disease processes are all mentioned, but often not in sufficient detail to be fully useful to the resident. As an example, in the discussion of shoulder trauma, the sublabral recess/foramen is mentioned and illustrated, but the information is not sufficient to guide the reader in being able to confidently differentiate the normal variant from pathology. The intraarticular biceps is not mentioned. In the knee trauma section, the criteria for meniscal tears is hinted at, but not defined. The anatomy is not stressed enough for the resident who has inevitably forgotten what was presented in first year medical school. As another example, in the tumor section, soft tissue sarcomas are discussed only in two rather brief paragraphs. Myositis is given one paragraph, which is not detailed enough to discuss the zoning phenomenon or need to differentiate from parosteal osteosarcoma. The resident in radiology requires more detail than is provided.
Assessment: This is an excellent introduction to the subspecialty of musculoskeletal radiology. I intend to use it in my teaching to give my first year residents an overview of the topic and help them quickly establish the vocabulary of the field. This is how I have used Dr. Chew's Bare Bones book in the past, and it serves admirably for this purpose. However, it is insufficient as the primary musculoskeletal textbook for the modern radiology resident, who requires more detailed information of both anatomy and pathology.