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Musculoskeletal Examination of the Shoulder: Making the Complex Simple

S. B. Cohen (eds) pp. 221 Thorofare: SLACK Incorporated, 2011 ISBN: 978-1-55642-912-5

This is a paperback edition approximately of A5 format.

Three sections. Section 1; Physical Exam. Section 2; General Imaging. Section 3; Common Conditions of the Shoulder.

The title and size of this book suggest that it is a pocket companion for musculoskeletal examination of the shoulder, which would be useful for trainees; for revision purposes for postgraduate exams, and for quick reference while at work. However, while it contains examination techniques and signs, it is also a mini textbook which discusses shoulder conditions including classifications, treatment principles and techniques. It does however have comprehensive references at the end of each chapter which is a worthy bibliography to have on the shelf.

The photographs are all black and white, and some look old or outdated. Their presence does not help with certain dynamic tests and one relies on the text description to understand the technique.

In section 2, concerning general imaging, there is no discussion of the sensitivity and specificity of the techniques and nor is there a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages when comparing the different techniques for certain shoulder conditions.

In section 3 the book expands into a textbook on shoulder conditions. While this may be welcomed, it does not have the space or volume to discuss conditions in depth which may be required for a more specialist training or consultant level of knowledge, in particular glenohumeral instability (chapter 3, page 67). There is no mention of the Stanmore classification which is used more in the United Kingdom and Europe, and the text reflects a more North American view on this complex condition.

To summarise, the authors should be applauded for their work for a general overview of shoulder examination and common conditions, but the book would be more appealing with updated cover photographs. A reader looking for a pure musculoskeletal shoulder examination reference may be somewhat disappointed with unwanted information that can be gleaned from other sources.

A. Chambler

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