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Edited by Walter R Frontera. London: Blackwell, 2003, £65.00, pp 326, hardcover. ISBN 0632058137
Do not buy this book if you are seeking the latest word on hamstring rehabilitation or current concepts in the management of multidirectional instability of the shoulder in athletes. As the title implies, this book addresses the scientific basis of the rehabilitation of sports injuries. As such it is relatively dry and will not have wide appeal for those seeking guidance in their practice of rehabilitation of the injured athlete. It does, however, provide a good review of the scientific basis of tissue healing and addresses the sound underpinning principles of rehabilitation and commonly used modalities.
As with any multiauthor edited text, the quality of individual chapters is variable. I was particularly surprised, and indeed disappointed, that the chapter addressing tissue healing and repair of bone and cartilage barely mentioned stress fractures and instead concentrated on the healing and management of traumatic and long bone fractures, which is perhaps of greater interest to orthopaedic trainees than practicing sports medicine physicians or physiotherapists. With the notable exception of a chapter addressing flexibility and joint range of motion, this book is short on presenting the evidence base for rehabilitation. Having read the book, I found myself longing for the follow up volume to this addition (should they choose to publish one) entitled Rehabilitation of sports injuries: practical guidance and the evidence base. As a practicing sports medicine physician, my interest is in the practical issues of rehabilitation and cutting edge techniques as it is these that will help my patients, albeit underpinned by good scientific principles. This book does provide a comprehensive review of scientific principles, but I fear its readership will be limited as there is only a single chapter addressing functional rehabilitation.
Evidence basis 10/20