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Review of Orthopaedic Trauma (Second ed)

M. R. Brinker pp. 607 US: Springhouse Publishing Co. 2013 ISBN: 978-1582557830

The first edition of Brinker’s Review of Orthopaedic Trauma published in 2000 has been a must-read for orthopaedic surgeons approaching exit examinations around the world. Orthopaedic trauma is a rapidly evolving specialty and a second edition has been eagerly awaited. Brinker and his team have delivered with this updated edition, which covers the full scope of adult and pediatric trauma care. It brings together the current concepts in orthopaedic trauma with traditional teaching and brings it to life with 200 new colour illustrations of anatomy, classifications and surgical techniques.

This second edition has stuck to the traditional formula, with a brief overview of trauma and basic principles, followed by the bulk of the textbook covering adult trauma and finally a concise section on paediatric trauma.

The basic principles section is a useful whistle-stop tour of fractures, principles of deformities, biomechanics and biomaterials setting the scene for the rest of the book.

The adult trauma section is broken down into four parts based on anatomy; lower extremity, pelvis and acetabulum, upper extremity, and spine. Individual chapters within these anatomical parts take the reader through specific bone and joint injuries, starting with epidemiology, classification and mechanism of injury, progressing to non-operative and surgical management, post-operative management and complications. There is, however, considerable variation in the layout of these individual chapters and I was disappointed to see that they did not continue some of the earlier themes of discussing the perioperative plan, positioning, and specifics of surgical techniques.

The references are laid out for each chapter in a useful manner, with lists according to classic articles, recent articles, review articles and textbooks. This made it easy to identify and focus further reading. On the other hand I would have appreciated some referencing throughout the text, especially when presenting key facts and figures.

Although for the most part diagrams are useful and relevant, some I felt were there to break up the text and add colour to the pages rather than providing useful information to the reader.  Tables and flow diagrams are used to display classifications and management strategies to good effect.  In chapter 12, however, a six-page table documenting the literature on tibial plafond fractures is included. These pages would have been better used to discuss the finer detail of surgical management of these difficult injuries. 

This book has a clear exam focus with key facts highlighted in bold print, focusing on the North American examinations but equally relevant to trainee examinations around the world. To really capture an international audience and to present a global perspective of trauma, the book may have benefited from having more contributors from outside North America.

I would certainly recommend this book to all trainees approaching final exams and believe it would be a useful text for established orthopaedic consultants looking for a concise update of trauma. 

Andrew Hughes

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