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Edited by Nick Harris and David Stanley. (Pp 229; £35.) Greenwich Medical Media, 2003. ISBN 1-84110-073-0.
Examination of the musculoskeletal system is an important part of many clinicians’ daily practice. The aim of this book is to bring together the advanced techniques of examination of the components of the musculoskeletal system and it achieves this. The target audience is postgraduates undertaking examinations in orthopaedics but it has a wider appeal and should be read by all involved in postgraduate and undergraduate teaching, physiotherapists and rheumatologists, and specialist general practitioners.
It is a book that will appeal visually to most orthopaedic specialists. The many colour illustrations demonstrate normal anatomy. Certain physical signs are best demonstrated with examples and there is a paucity of positive examples except in the chapters relating to children’s conditions. Overlap between different authors is generally avoided but not altogether. The grading of muscle power is given in examination of the hand and examination of the brachial plexus, it is almost identical in both tables, but attributed to different sources, which could confuse exam candidates. Certain parts of the body are more amenable to comprehensive cover, and are well done, such as that of examination of the shoulder. The overall style is of necessity didactic. Areas of contention or controversy are hinted at in the chapter on examination of the spine but not expanded upon.
This is a book I would recommend as a useful addition to all postgraduate libraries and it should be on the reading list of all postgraduates taking examinations involving the musculoskeletal system.
The reviewers have been asked to rate these books in terms of four items: readability, how up to date they are, accuracy and reliability, and value for money, using simple four point scales. From their opinions we have derived an overall “star” rating: * = poor, ** = reasonable, *** = good, **** = excellent.