Edited by Mark D. Miller pp. 452 Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2011 ISBN: 978-1-4511-0261-1
Sports orthopaedic surgery and minimally invasive techniques to treat musculoskeletal problems are not only gaining popularity but also are becoming established as the gold standard treatment for many conditions. This text is the latest addition to the 'Operative techniques in…' series, which all feature a heavy North American editorship, but for this area of orthopaedics, this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Many will be familiar with Miller's textbooks, especially his evergreen Review of Orthopaedics which is still a very popular revision aid for the FRCS(Tr & Orth). However, this textbook is not in the same mould. This book is aimed at the registrar and consultant alike as a more detailed guide for the actual operative techniques in sports orthopaedic/medicine surgery. That is not to say that salient features of the relevant anatomy, pathogenesis, natural history, patient history and examination, imaging and non-operative management are excluded. They are succinctly discussed for each topic in the space of two to four pages before the text moves on to the operative technique. Moreover, the question of surgical versus conservative treatment is also discussed.
The book is divided by joint into four main sections, and most arthroscopic procedures are included in subsections. As the majority of techniques described in the book are arthroscopic, adequate description and annotation is devoted to patient positioning and portal placement. Techniques are then described very precisely step-by-step, often bulleted, with colour pictures and diagrams throughout (often on the same page), with helpful tips as needed. Particular surgical instruments or devices, which are numerous in this field, are referenced to their parent company, which is very useful. Alternative or variable techniques to suit slightly different pathologies under a broader heading are not ignored (e.g. posterolateral corner reconstruction and Muller, Larson, Laprade techniques), and each section contains a 'pearls and pitfalls' table on the key surgical steps. Each section ends with advice on post-operative care, rehabilitation, referenced outcomes and potential complications.
Two further bonuses are of note: first, there is an examination section, which pictorially lists and describes the multitude of eponymous and special tests by joint. Secondly, purchasing the book also allows online access to the full text.
Traditionally, British orthopaedic surgeons subspecialise by the joint, but in sports orthopaedic surgery, which is mainly arthroscopic, many of the skills are transferrable between the joints; this book may not be ideal for those who practice by the joint or adjacent joints, as large sections will not be relevant; but for those who wish to pursue a career in multi-joint sports orthopaedic surgery, this text is certainly a benchmark for future texts.