Hamlet A. Peterson. pp. 146 Springer, 2012. ISBN: 978-3642225628
This book is a comprehensive account of physeal injury from diseases or from injuries other than fractures. This is the companion to Dr Peterson’s earlier book on physeal injury from fractures (Epiphyseal Growth Plate Fractures) published in 2007. The two books are complementary and between them cover all aspects of physeal problems.
The chapters are divided according to the aetiology of the physeal injury. The first few chapters cover some of the more common causes like vascular deficiency, infection, and tumour. These are well known causes of physeal injuries. Orthopaedic surgeons managing a child with problems like osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, Perthes disease, avascular necrosis in Developmental Hip Dysplasia, multiple osteochondromata etc should be well aware of the issue of physeal injury in these conditions. In each chapter the main discussion is on the management of the physeal damage. The diagnosis and treatment of these conditions are discussed primarily as they pertain to the subsequent damage of the physis. The Chapters are not intended to give detailed accounts on clinical, imaging and laboratory evaluation in general as these subjects are well covered in other sources and assumed of the readers.
The later chapters describe relatively uncommon causes. They include causes like medications, cold and heat injury, electric injuries, radiation, light waves and sound waves etc. These are rare problems which the average orthopaedic surgeon would be unlikely to encounter.
The book has an excellent collection of case examples with good illustrations of physeal injury occurring subsequent to the various causes. This collection comes from the author’s vast experience and his extensive study of the literature on this specific problem. This is one of the most authoritative works on physeal injury.
A general orthopaedic surgeon would probably find the book too specialised, but the book should be available in the library. The book however is invaluable to consultant paediatric orthopaedic surgeon as it contains a lot of useful information on the management of physeal problems and it is worth having a personal copy.
Although physeal injuries are still quite common in developed countries, they are more common in the third world, where medical care is not always readily available and a child may have delayed or neglected treatment of a physeal injury. I think this book would be of immense value to the third world where physeal injury still occurs regularly.
Dr Peterson has made a tremendous contribution to paediatric orthopaedics by compiling a valuable source of information by his life-long devotion to the study of physeal problem in children.
Reviewed by Dr Yun-Hoi Li