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Sports medicine handbook.
  1. Desmond Thompson
  1. Blackheath, London

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    Eds R Hackney, A Wallace. (Pp 512; £75.00.) BMA House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JR: BMJ Books, 1999. ISBN 0-7279-1031-0.

    Having recently taken up the post as medical officer to a 2nd division football club, I was pleased to have a chance to read and review this book, hoping it would plug the not inconsiderable gaps in my knowledge. It covers almost the whole spectrum of sports medicine, from training, stretching, and drugs, through the management of injuries in both adults and the young athlete, with chapters on orthoses, braces, taping techniques, and the principles of rehabilitation.

    The chapter authors are, with two exceptions, from British posts and give each chapter a slightly different flavour, which I found refreshing. Generally the text is well laid out with bullet points and boxes containing “take home messages”. The coloured diagrams are clear and informative and the many colour photographs are excellent. The actual page size is relatively small, however, and although it will fit in your kitbag, one downside of this is that many of the x ray pictures and scans are too small to see what is going on, even with the caption as a clue!

    I found it a most informative book, exploring the subject in considerable detail. The sections on injuries were excellent, dealing with the relevant anatomy and history, with good descriptions of the examination techniques involved and management.

    I was a little disappointed with the head and neck injury chapter. At the end of it, I still felt unhappy about giving advice on return to contact sport after concussion and would have liked to have seen more practical details on assessment included along the lines of the American Academy of Neurology report of 1997. This is perhaps a small grumble. The preface suggests that the book is suitable for coaches, physiotherapists, and doctors; it has certainly achieved its aim.

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