Edited by Christopher Bulstrode, James Wilson-MacDonald, Deborah M. Eastwood, et al. pp. 1776 Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011 ISBN: 978-0-19-955064-7
Weighing in at five kilograms and with 1722 pages of text produced by 260 authors and 15 editors, this new single volume replacement for the original four volume version requires physical stamina to get off the bookshelf. But then the contents make the strain worthwhile; well laid out, easy to read and assimilate. The book covers basic science, adult and then paediatric elective, and traumatic orthopaedics, with a separate comprehensive section on tumours.
Each chapter is didactic with a bullet point summary at the beginning and summary boxes within the text. These aides-mémoir are ideally suited to the FRCS(Orth) candidates striving to gain knowledge and bear witness to it, as well as their consultant teachers and examiners wishing to refresh their own knowledge and keep up to date. Relevant clinical and operative photographs and radiological images abound and reinforce the adjacent text. There are a handful of key references for further reading at the end of each chapter. Addionally, there is an online version with six months free access for individual purchasers, allowing free download of images for presentations.
It is a pity that in the chapter on the structure and function of the musculoskeletal system, the focus is exclusively on bone and cartilage with no mention of skeletal muscle; upon which the proper development and function of bones and joints depends. Apart from this omission this is an excellent and instructive book that should find a place on the bookshelf of trainee and trainer alike.