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Master Techniques in Orthopaedic Surgery: The Foot and Ankle (Third edition)

Harold B. Kitaoka. pp. 752 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins 2013. Third Revised edition. ISBN-13: 978-1605476742


The Master Techniques in Orthopaedic Surgery series was launched in 1994 and has become the gold standard for texts on surgical techniques. The series includes all the subspecialties in orthopaedics. The original series editor, Roby Thompson, asked master surgeons to provide detailed descriptions of their specific techniques. The format of the series was successful because it showed how to do specific procedures rather than summarising the world’s experience. The second key to the success of this book is the ability and experience of the volume editor, Harold B. Kitaoka, who is the head of the Foot and Ankle section of the Mayo Medical School. He is truly dedicated and shares his rich experience through this volume.

Master Techniques in Orthopaedic Surgery: The Foot and Ankle, Third edition is published this year (2013), eleven years after the second edition (2002). It follows the standard format of the entire series. As the knowledge and techniques in the foot and ankle have changed rapidly in the past decade, many chapters in this edition have been completely rewritten or updated. There are 48 chapters (up from 43 chapters in second edition) divided into three parts: Forefoot and Midfoot; Hindfoot; and Ankle. Seventy-six surgeons who are leaders in their specific field contribute to the corresponding chapters. All the chapters are extensively illustrated, with more than 340 drawings, of which 230 are new to the third edition. Each chapter is categorised into: brief introduction; indications & contraindications; preoperative planning; step-by-step surgical technique (with abundant intra-operative photographs); pearls and pitfalls; postoperative management; and finally results and complications. The well-defined format makes the message clear.   There are many newly added procedures, both open and minimally invasive techniques. I am impressed by the chapter on harvesting hamstring tendon grafts, which are very important to foot and ankle surgeon now as we tend to preserve the peroneal tendons rather than sacrifice them as grafts. Harvesting hamstring tendon grafts is an easy job for knee surgeons but I think many foot and ankle surgeons are not that familiar with the technique. Another interesting chapter is popliteal and ankle block anaesthesia which is also not a very common topic in foot and ankle books. Beside these two chapters, there are many others new procedures including: Lisfranc fracture plate extra-articular bridging plate fixation; lateral column lengthening with medial column stabilisation; cavus foot reconstruction; syndesmosis injury ORIF; late reconstruction of ankle fracture malunion; supramelleolar tibial osteotomy; tibiotalocalcaneal arthrodesis with external fixation; talar osteoarticular transfer; MTP interpositional arthroplasty; Ludloff proximal metatarsal osteotomy; crossover toe reconstruction; plantar plate reconstruction; and Jones fracture ORIF. Also minimally invasive techniques for: calcaneal fracture; tibial pilon fracture; Achilles tendon rupture; and calcaneal prominence resection.



It is certainly worthwhile for owners of the second edition to purchase this edition. My only criticism is that it is light on endoscopic surgery – only ankle arthroscopy and a little hindfoot endoscopy is covered, and this is not a suitable book for surgeons planning tendoscopy or subtalar, mid-foot or small joint arthroscopy procedures. Perhaps future editions will cover this material as the procedures become more popular. 


I highly recommended this book to all, not only foot and ankle surgeons, but also to general orthopaedic surgeons, fellows and trainees who treat foot and ankle problems. The techniques in this book are applicable worldwide, and I look forward to seeing it translated into other languages.


SW Kong


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