Mark E. Easley and Sam W. Wiesel pp. 1023 Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2011 ISBN: 978-1-60831-904-6
This book is a very good instructional reference for foot and ankle surgery. It is a collection of surgeons' techniques covering the majority of foot and ankle operations. Each operation is described concisely with succinct paragraphs on the physiology and operative technique, with photographs of each stage of the operation. The descriptions are brief and easy to ingest, without the reader being lost in lines of prose. The photographs detail the important steps in each procedure, showing the exposure and methods clearly, guiding the reader through each operation. Added to this is a 'Tips & Tricks' section at the end of each technique, with the author providing their personal wisdom here.
Each technique is written by an expert from an extensive panel of international surgeons. This provides the reader with the impression that the have had a 'masterclass' on that procedure. All the common foot and ankle operations are covered as well as some of the rarer ones. It certainly covers all the procedures that a specialist surgeon would use regularly in a comprehensive foot and ankle practice. I particularly like the fact that the more common operations, such as a scarf osteotomy, had descriptions from multiple authors allowing the reader to pick and choose the techniques they prefer.
It is not as comprehensive as larger volumes, and does not cover all possibilities. Each section is short and doesn't have the gravitas of the big tomes, but this is really very positive as it keeps the book tight and easy to read.
One of the difficulties in foot and ankle surgery is the wide variety of procedures that we use. For trainees, it is a difficult speciality to become familiar with as there is little repetition. This book is perfect for this, and I would recommend it to all foot and ankle trainees. The descriptions and technique, combined with the possible pitfalls and the personal wisdoms of these authors, will be a big help in providing some of this familiarity.
This is also an excellent book for the experienced and established foot and ankle surgeon, as a refresher on the technique of rarely performed operations.