Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery - American Volume:
James C.Y. Chow, editor. With foreword by Robert W. Jackson. New York: Springer; 2001. 741 pages. $250.00.
This book presents a compendium of arthroscopy of all joints. As is stated in the introduction, arthroscopy has come so far in the last thirty-five years that all joints and some soft-tissue areas are amenable to arthroscopic inspection and treatment.
The editor has superbly organized this complex book and has drawn on the talents of a large number of experienced authors. The descriptions of technique are uniformly clear and of top quality. The surgeon who wants to learn or review how to perform a certain procedure will find concise, definitive explanations that are generally accompanied by excellent illustrations.
It should be noted, however, that the book is a “cookbook” of techniques rather than a comprehensive text. It seems that the editor tried to include every approach without providing any explanation to the reader about which technique to use for a given problem, which may create confusion for the novice.
Some of the chapters are quite terse, offering very little information on the results of the arthroscopic procedures and the prevalence of complications compared with that associated with accepted, open procedures. Conversely, other chapters provide a detailed discussion and a comprehensive approach to the problems inherent to arthroscopic procedures.
The illustrations are excellent, especially those that are in color. It is unfortunate that all of the arthroscopic images are not in color because details are lost in black and white.
There is considerable redundancy among the approaches described for particular problems, which may cause confusion for the less experienced arthroscopist. Some of this duplication could have been avoided by employing fewer authors and focusing more on the problem than the procedure.
As a whole, this work is a good textbook that deserves a place in the library of any serious arthroscopist. It is primarily a procedure-oriented book for the orthopaedic surgeon who wishes to improve his or her skills in arthroscopy by learning the masters’ techniques. It is not a primer for the resident or the novice arthroscopist.