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Drennan's The Child's Foot and Ankle (Second ed.)

Edited by James J. McCarthy and James C. Drennan pp. 543 Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2010 ISBN 978-0-7817-7847-3

This is the second edition of one of my most favourite and most used text books: it contains 33 chapters written by 50 authors covering various specialties and takes up 543 pages with multiple illustrations and line diagrams.

The editors' aim has been to provide a comprehensive textbook on all aspects of the paediatric foot and ankle from bracing and orthotics through the conservative management of the club foot to fractures and infections and back to syndromic conditions such as arthrogryposis and limb deficiencies via common or garden heel and foot pain. The book does succeed in covering a myriad of topics and on the whole it does this well: the information is designed to be suitable for interested residents/registrars and for paediatric orthopaedic surgeons. I personally feel it would also be of value to all adult foot and ankle surgeons too; if only so that they have a better understanding of the paediatric philosophy of care and what we might have been up to during our surgical management of some cases! The chapters on foot infections and rheumatological diseases I found particularly interesting and there were a number of new pearls to find in this edition compared to the last.

Despite all these positive features I find myself a little disappointed with this edition and I find it difficult to explain why that is.  The editors have had all chapters rewritten and overall the text has been expanded: perhaps that is at the heart of my disappointment - my old familiar friend has changed and maybe I just need to get used to it!  However, I was upset to find quite a few typographical errors (mostly minor) and I do think that the quality of the illustrations is not as good as it could be: many look too old, too dark or simply not too helpful.  I would also dearly love to see a chapter dedicated to the radiology of the child's foot with a comprehensive review of the utility (or otherwise) of all the different measurements that can be made.

Nevertheless, this is a very useful textbook and if your department does not have the first edition on its bookshelf - then please remedy that deficiency with this edition. It should also be in the personal library of any self-respecting paediatric orthopaedic surgeon - I will keep both editions to hand: the old friend and the new acquaintance!

D. Eastwood

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