Edited by Javad Parvizi and Brian Klatt pp. 217 Thorofare: SLACK Incorporated, 2011 ISBN: 978-1-55642-851-7
Total knee arthroplasty is an operation undertaken by many yet understood by few. This book should read by all registrars in training who want to understand the principles behind this increasingly common procedure. It avoids the pitfall of being too wordy and each of the 23 chapters is concise with the book totalling 207 pages.
The book starts in typical fashion outlining the pertinent anatomy and biomechanics in chapters one and two respectively. There then follows some chapters which could have easily been left out, and it is questionable how often 'Arthritides' and 'Nonsurgical Alternatives/Conservative Management' will be read. Indeed the 'Arthritides' chapter outlines the common indications for total knee arthroplasty, but it would have been more useful to advise whether joint replacement in each of those conditions is successful, and if any pitfalls are routinely encountered when dealing with inflammatory arthritides in particular. It is difficult to fault any of the following chapters however, starting with an excellent chapter on the history of this surgery and concluding with a sobering chapter on rehabilitation, thus reminding the surgeon that the success of the operation does not finish with implant insertion.
When joint arthroplasty goes well, it goes very well; but it is important to acknowledge its limitations and failures. Almost one third of the book is devoted to complications and it is these chapters that will likely be the most read. What are particularly pleasing about these are the photos and diagrams that supplement the text to give it more relevance.
In summary, this book is an excellent go-to guide when trying to understand the principles of total knee arthroplasty. The mix of figures and text should make it an essential; but a retail cost in excess of £100 will likely mean it spends more time in the reference library than in the trainee's briefcase.