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Handbook of Fractures 5th edition

Kenneth A. Egol, Kenneth J. Koval, Joseph D. Zuckerman. pp.896. Wolters Kluwer Health 2015

This is the latest edition of a much-loved classic - an abbreviated yet comprehensive guide to fracture management, known to many as ‘Baby Rockwood’. Each chapter has a narrow focus on a particular topic (there are separate chapters for femoral head, neck and intertrochanteric fractures, for example). There are brief notes on epidemiology, anatomy and radiology, alongside classifications and clearly-presented principles of treatment, with evidence where appropriate.


There is no waffle; everything is a nugget. This brevity reaps great benefits: once you are familiar with the material, a chapter can be reviewed in a few minutes, making it a good book for many occasions, from swotting up before trauma meetings, to polishing your patter for the FRCS trauma station. This edition brings expanded text and prettier pictures. Each fracture is illustrated with well-chosen radiographs and clear line drawings, with judicious use of colour. Reproduction quality is excellent, much improved from previous editions (partly due to the better paper). It really is a handsome volume.


This title has been a firm favourite of mine since the third edition, which I bought during my first SHO position. Back then, it was smaller; a slender 440 pages. Over the years, it has been expanded in both scope and page count, now standing at 896 larger-format pages. Sadly, it is now too big to be considered a handbook, and is no more pocketable than a Volvo. A solution is provided, though: an included code grants access to an electronic version via the Inkling app (both iOS and Android). Navigation is smooth, even on older devices (I tested it on a 4-year-old iPad 2 without any issues). Unlike other half-hearted eBooks you may have endured in the past, this is the real deal: every page is included in full, with the original formatting and diagrams preserved, making this a very rare case where I would be happy to consult the eBook on a daily basis, and leave the printed volume on my bookshelf.

Reviewed by Jamie McConnell