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M A Hutson, Oxford University Press, 2001, £34.50, soft cover, pp 251. ISBN 0192632728
Sports injuries: recognition and management is now in its third edition. It has a single major author and some specialist chapters written by other authors either independently or in collaboration with the major author.
According to the preface: “This book is not an encyclopaedia of medical conditions associated with sport. It is designed primarily for the clinician who requires a method of learning a suitable approach towards the musculoskeletal problems encountered in sport”. Unfortunately this approach means the book has come out “neither fish, flesh nor fowl”. On one hand it does not provide a comprehensive listing of possible pathologies, and at times the lists given neglect some important and relatively common problems such as labral tears of the hip joint, while giving prominence to rather more obscure diagnoses. On the other hand, although the basic diagnostic and management bases are covered, there is little room for discussing the subtleties of history, examination, and investigation required in more difficult cases. I was disappointed with the coverage of some of the broader areas of sports medicine such as the implications for public health, doping, or sports psychology.
Several chapters cover some areas of a topic comprehensively but fail to address other key issues. For instance the section on head injury does not effectively deal with the topic of concussion for the club doctor, neglecting such areas as the neuropsychology testing routines now in common use. Indeed there is no reference to concussion in the index of the book. Although there is a discussion of the principles of assessing head injury, most of the information offered to the reader is more relevant to the neurosurgical admission suite than the dressing room, which may be the chapter author’s point but does not reflect clinical needs.
The illustrations are generally clear, although some are showing their age, as are a number of the references in the text. Some of the management suggestions probably do not match what is commonly done (or indeed in some instances what research has confirmed as giving best outcomes). Some assertions are incorrect—for example, in the context of trauma “A normal MRI examination of the knee almost totally excludes significant abnormality in the knee”.
This book would provide an introduction to the field of sports medicine; indeed the author suggests that it is targeted at the general practitioner who is interested in the area. However, it has deficiencies and could not be used as a sole text. Its role may be that of rounding out a library for health practitioners interested in basic sports medicine. As a specialist sports medicine clinician, I found aspects of this book disappointing.
Evidence basis 11/20