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Edited by S T Canale, W C Campbell. St Louis, MO: Mosby, 2003, $495.00, pp 4283, hardcover. ISBN 032301240X
This is a book measured by the carton. In fact, just carrying the books around is liable to cause injury. Four volumes and 4283 pages is a lot of reading in anyone’s language. What this represents is arguably the best orthopaedic reference around today. If you want to know about any aspect of orthopaedics, it is likely to be in these pages. Just picking a topic at random such as the complications of knee endoscopy gives a huge and somewhat mind boggling list of possibilities. Rather surprisingly for the non-orthopaedist, the book also covers non-surgical problems such as the diabetic foot. Surgical orthopaedics clearly is the focus, and the diagrams of the various surgical methods are easy to follow even for a simple sports physician such as myself.
Who should read it—obviously operative orthopaedic surgeons are the main market. After all they can afford it and are generally fairly beefy chaps capable of carrying the heavy books. Do sports physicians need such weighty tomes? No, although sports physicians in a large group practice or who have no access to an institutional library should consider having access to a copy. It would be nice for the non-orthopaedist if there were a similar detailed reference of non-operative musculoskeletal medicine. Certainly this is a void waiting to be filled.
This book began life in 1939, and the 10th edition represents a remarkable continuity of publishing as well as indicating just how orthopaedics has developed as a specialty over that period of time. This edition has 34 contributors, 10 of which are new. This gives an idea as to the desire of the editor to improve upon past editions.
The book is hugely impressive, up to date, and comprehensive. Concise it isn’t.