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Edited by J C Puffer. McGraw Hill, 2002, AUD$114.95, softcover, pp 451. ISBN 0070527202
Professor Puffer and his collaborators have produced a very helpful resource and contribution for clinicians in sports medicine. 20 common problems in sports medicine is ideal as a textbook for the medical practitioner starting sports medicine practice, for those completing sports medicine training, or for the subspecialist who desires an exposure to areas outside of their usual expertise. The text may also be helpful to physiotherapists who are seeking a greater understanding of sports medicine problems and a rationale for investigations.
The text is divided into regions and separate medical and paediatric problems. There is a different emphasis on each body region—for example, the physical examination of the shoulder is presented more comprehensively than ankle examination. The graphics for examination of body areas, in particular the shoulder and hip regions, are good. However, the text would be strengthened by more extensive examples of sports imaging—for example, MR arthrography for rotator cuff pathology or labral pathology.
Concussion explanation and management is a helpful overview for those who are new to team care and clinical sports medicine. This section could be strengthened in the area of newer neuropsychometric testing tools and the context of their use.
Acute wrist injuries, always a personal challenge in my clinical practice, are very well covered. The authors have presented an excellent explanation of the functional anatomy and clinical assessment.
Clinical testing and screening for dynamic pelvic function, often controversial at sports medicine meetings, is accompanied by excellent photography. This could be a helpful tool for explaining the condition and problems to patients.
Anterior knee pain is presented concisely with a helpful rehabilitation progression chart. The authors present the imaging sometimes used in some specificity, but without examples. I believe that this could be presented in the context of what imaging is indicated in different clinical settings. This would also provide an opportunity to offer an introduction to anatomical variations, which is clinically relevant. On the other hand, the management flow charts for the acutely injured knee are very good. They follow a sound description of clinical assessment.
Orthotics and gait analysis are skimmed over, despite good thorough reviews of shin pain and foot pain. Readers would need to be aware of the clinical relevance of this.
Paediatric problems are very well presented. The presentation of exercise for apophysitis and the appropriate graphics is particularly good. This again could be helpful in the consulting room to demonstrate problems to patients and parents.
The final two chapters on low back pain and stress fractures complete the text. The chapter on low back pain is an uncomplicated overview, and the one on stress fracture is well referenced with information on bone biology. It is always good to return to basic science to understand clinical problems.
I enjoyed reviewing 20 common problems in sports medicine and have already recommended it to medical colleagues.
Evidence basis 16/20
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