C. Eaton, M. H. Seegenschmiedt, A. Bayat, G. Gabbiani, P. Werker, W. Wach (eds) pp. 474 Berlin: Springer, 2012 ISBN: 978-3-642-22696-0
So, why do we need another book about Dupuytren’s disease? After all, there is a vast amount of information available online. This question is addressed by Dr Eaton himself in the preface and answered eloquently. My view is that there’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned book with a solid feel to it, one with fine paper (not the thick, ‘quality’ stuff that makes books heavy and unwieldy) that allows you to flick from one chapter to the next with ease. This is such a book. It feels good. It’s beautifully presented, with lots of superb illustrations, photographs of the highest quality and diagrams that are actually understandable! It is the product of papers presented at the International Symposium on Dupuytren’s Disease, held in Florida in May 2010, and is clearly reflected in most of the chapters which are written as scientific papers. This is a great way to impart information but it interrupts the flow and can make for rather dry reading at times.
Although there are many authors, the editors have ensured consistency and quality. The book is divided into eight sections, each one overseen by an authoritative and knowledgeable editor, which is further divided into chapters that conform to the general theme of that segment. The headings are logical and the sections are clearly delineated by underlined titles. It’s easy on the eye and allows the reader to find the section that he or she wants straightaway. The organisation of the sections and chapters, which are brief and to the point, allows the ‘narrative’ to flow.
The first section is a good introduction and provides a neat overview. I was pleased to see a chapter devoted to biomechanics (with some interesting observations on aetiology) and a whole section devoted to the myofibroblast, leading nicely into the next section and laying the foundation for understanding the other chapters.
The chapter on the history of Dupuytren’s is fascinating and is an excellent introduction. However, I feel it’s in the wrong place. By following a chapter on the management of scars and soft tissue contractures, its impact is lessened. Similarly, the segment entitled ‘Needle treatment and hand therapy’ might have been better as a section on therapy alone with the chapters on needle treatment in the previous section. However, these are minor gripes.
The Collagen and Cell Biology chapters are succinctly written and the authors have condensed their work into theses with each one leading logically into the next. The book ends with thoughts and ideas on the future of Dupuytren’s research and Dr Eaton’s proposal that we should establish an international database. I found these chapters particularly thought-provoking.
This is an authoritative book that approaches this challenging disease (and those related to it) in a fresh, enthusiastic and open manner. The subdivision into sections is logical, the chapters well-written, carefully edited and the topic thoroughly analysed. My only worry is that it will age rapidly. Get it while you can!