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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Samuel J. Chmell, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This astounding compendium of information on the wrist updates a 1998 publication.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide "an excellent text on which to expand . . . knowledge and, importantly, aid patients in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the wrist." This book was needed; there had not been an authoritative book dedicated to the wrist since 2002 when the second edition of Master Techniques in Orthopaedic Surgery: The Wrist, Gelberman (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins) was published. (The third edition of this book was just released in May.)
Audience: It is intended for "hand surgeons in practice, fellows and residents in training" as well as "the wrist student, interested physicians . . . and other devotees of the wrist." Since the vast majority of wrist problems across the board are treated by orthopedic surgeons, I would specifically add that group to the list. The editor, Dr. William Cooney III, is indeed an authority on the wrist.
Features: With over 1,200 pages, the book literally has every bit of information that surgeons will need to take care of any hand problem. The information is up to date and the references are very helpful. The descriptions of wrist anatomy and kinematics are particularly informative. The information on anthropology and comparative anatomy is not only fascinating, but also helpful in understanding the biomechanics of the human carpus. The only shortcoming is that this book is very heavy - perhaps it should be published in two volumes.
Assessment: Often, physicians want "The Authoritative Reference" on a given topic. Usually, we cannot identify one single such source for a given entity. However, for the wrist, we have just such an authoritative reference with this impressive book. It more than replaces the previous edition in many ways, but most notably in the breadth of international contributors. There really is not another book dedicated to the wrist that can hold a candle to this one.