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Rapid Reference Review in Orthopedic Trauma: Pivotal Papers Revealed

David J Hak. pp. 213 SLACK Incorporated, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-1617110481

This book is a quick guide into some landmark and relevant studies in orthopaedic trauma. Chapters are split up according to each body region (i.e. calcaneum, ankle, hip, etc.). Within each chapter, classical papers are presented first followed by other well-recognized papers according to the level of evidence. For each paper, details, including the study design, study population, and results, are summarized.

This book should be applauded for the detail in describing each paper’s methodology. Details about the type of study, inclusion and exclusion criteria, methods of data gathering and analysis, have been carefully summarised. However, key messages from each study and its limitations could have been included.

The book can be used to quickly screen for useful studies, but reading through the full paper is likely required to have a thorough understanding of the topic. The author does not include any personal analysis or appraisal nor raise any controversies from reviewing these studies. Thus, readers looking for current trends in regards to management controversies such as young patients with neck of femur fractures, humeral fractures with radial nerve palsy, and deciding between nailing and plating for proximal humerus and tibia fractures, would be disappointed.

Those interested in reading landmark papers for each region such as those by Sanders, Canale, Sarmiento, Baumgartner, Judet, Jupiter, McQueen and Whitesides should be satisfied. Although it is impossible to include all important studies into this one book, some key papers such as Vallier’s paper on talar neck fracture, Sarmiento’s papers on bracing for tibia and humeral fractures, McQueen’s definition of delta pressure in compartment syndrome and Ring’s paper on elbow dislocation could have been included.

With limited illustrations, this book may prove to be a slow read, but it should be of interest to selected groups. Its audience is most likely residents in preparation for examinations and young specialists with an interest in trauma surgery. It is also helpful for those searching for papers to build on for their own research. Seasoned trauma surgeons and those looking to familiarise themselves with the current literature may find little incentive to read this book.

Reviewed by Dr Jason Pui Yin Cheung, Orthopaedic Trainee