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Pediatric Hand and Upper Limb Surgery: A Practical Guide

P. M. Waters, D. S. Bae pp. 657 Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2012 ISBN: 978-1-58255-870-7

This excellent book should be available to seniors and juniors covering children’s conditions of the clavicle right down to the finger tip. There is something in it for all levels from the supra-specialist expert to the occasional practitioner covering simple trauma.

It is innovative in realistically grading procedures achievable by surgeons of different levels of experience. There are also highlighted side bars and coach’s corner sections that are highly useful to those of us rushed for time in clinics and theatres (could be read scrubbed; not that we ever would!) There is also great operative and rehabilitation technical detail that might convert a marginal benefit result to excellent outcome on controversial areas such as camptodactyly and Madelung’s deformity.

At first sight the lay quotes from famous American sports persons appear out of context to the non-USA, non-sports specialist but should not detract from medical content.

Sections on congenital conditions are excellent, particularly for those of us covering populations where these conditions are now fortunately rare and our forebears from the thalidomide era are no longer with us to hand on advice.

Controversial areas such as obstetric brachial plexus palsy are well covered with refreshing honesty of the confusing evidence base.

My only criticism is that some chapters apply to conditions that affect adults as well as children and are well-covered in existing books. The specifics, where practice is different for children, is therefore a little diluted.

Trauma is generally well covered but some critical areas such as supracondylar humeral fractures with vascular and neurological impairment are brief and over-simplified for a definitive text. The slant is for operative fixation of most fractures, slightly under-playing the role of low-risk conservative methods. This may reflect the expectations of the author’s population.

G. Broome

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