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The Hand Fourth Edition: Anatomy, Examination, and Diagnosis

G. Rayan, E. Akelman (eds) pp. 243 Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011 ISBN: 978-1-4511-1593-2

On opening the pack, the book has a good presentation and looks like a sensible size to carry in pockets, especially the pockets of white coats. The design of the cover is pleasant and offers a book on anatomy examination and diagnosis of the hand. The first thought that springs to mind when you look at such a book is why indeed would someone want a book like this in this age of electronic gadgets? And it is therefore not surprising that on immediately opening the book there is an offer to buy the hand anatomy and diagnosis for a mobile device and at a discounted price. I can’t help but wonder how many people would go back and buy the electronic version in this day and age! Furthermore, free with the purchase of the book there is access to a video on essential hand anatomy and its relationship with injury and disease; this is offered as a free internet link with an access code.

Once the electronic introductions are over, the book reveals itself as a very pleasant little book with good quality paper and very nice photographs and colour diagrams throughout. This format will remind ‘the older guys’ of why we like books in the first place and it certainly includes the pleasure of looking at the good photographs and schematics. An excellent example of this can be found on page 70 where there is an interesting feature on cadaveric specimen on the left hand side of the double page matched by a nice coloured scheme on the right.

Following an introduction the book is divided into two parts, the first being anatomy, which is fairly comprehensive and suitable for support throughout all clinical training and would be particularly useful for budding hand surgeons. Part two consists of examination and common clinical conditions and does have a surprisingly broad span of pathology with varied examples and comprehensive range of conditions. These include some basics of congenital disease, rheumatoid arthritis and cases of cerebral palsy plus a number of trauma conditions. Trauma conditions comprise trauma and injury to flexor tendons, peripheral nervous system, vascular system and Dupuytren’s syndrome and post-traumatic contractures. There are a number of other conditions including cysts, ganglia and skin injuries of several levels of severity with illustrations of grafts, flaps and fairly complex reconstruction procedures.

There is no doubt that this book will be an important addition to the library of the hand surgeon and it will work well as a white coat pocket tool, either in a paper or electronic format.

C. Wigderowitz

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