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Radiofrequency Treatments on the Spine, 1st ed

Watanabe, Kazuhiro MD

doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000002465
Books, Multimedia, and Meeting Reviews

Published ahead of print September 7, 2017.

Department of Anesthesiology, Mito Saiseikai General Hospital, Ibaraki, Japan,

Published ahead of print September 7, 2017.

Lower back pain (LBP) causes more global disability than any other condition worldwide. An urgent need for a less invasive treatment modality for this condition, such as radiofrequency technology (RF), is needed. For the past 10 years, interest in RF treatment for spine-related pain has increased. Various categories of physicians, including interventional radiologists, pain medicine clinicians, neurosurgeons, and orthopedic surgeons, use this type of treatment. To meet the needs of the different specialties, a textbook dedicated to this treatment modality is needed. The intent of the editors of Radiofrequency Treatments on the Spine was to “fill a significant gap in the literature by specifically focusing on the use of RF for spinal conditions.” This book is mainly written by interventional radiologists from Italy, Greece, and the United States. It is just over 100 pages long and weighs <600 g, making it a handy, on-the-spot reference manual.

The book is comprised of 11 short chapters (the longest totals 15 pages) with carefully selected images to promote better understanding of the subject. The first 2 chapters contain fundamental knowledge of spinal anatomy and RF. The biomechanics of vertebrae are well described using comprehensive figures, which is useful for readers who are not orthopedic surgeons. The physical basis of RF is presented concisely, yet without excessive omission, and allows readers to acquire the minimum understanding to allow safe handling of the relevant equipment. It also seems suitable for the education of nonphysician staff members who take care of the equipment. The causes of LBP are discussed in Chapter 3. In this chapter, the epidemiology of LBP is comprehensively described, with more than 40 references. This chapter can form the basis for obtaining informed consent. The next 2 chapters focus on disk herniation of the cervical and lumbar spine. Each chapter begins with some background (historical, technical, and anatomical) and indications, and then provides thorough, detailed explanations of actual procedures, and concludes by referring to postprocedural follow-up considerations. In particular, the depiction of the technique is given in such detail that readers may feel as if they are witnessing the actual procedure. In Chapters 6–9, facet joint and radicular pain are discussed. These chapters also address other technologies in the field of RF, including pulsed RF, water-cooled RF, bipolar RF, and multilesion RF. The last 2 chapters deal with the cutting edge in the field of RF treatment, namely tumors of the spine. These 2 chapters contain abundant pictures (eg, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography) to describe actual case progression. The authors explore the current status and future trends of this field at the end of each chapter, which might help investigators in the area. Although this book provides e-content for authorized readers, this reviewer thinks it offers little advantage over the hardcover version.

This book is a valuable guide for a wide range of specialists, from the beginner to the advanced practitioner. Like every publication, this book is not without fault. First, this book does not have an orderly organization, and there are several overlapping descriptions of topics (eg, the origin of LBP). This repetitiveness makes parts of the book seem redundant. Second, some descriptions of specific devices are unnecessarily verbose. Finally, most of the authors who contributed to this book are interventional radiologists. The editors did not, therefore, take advantage of the experience and perspectives that other specialists have to offer.

Kazuhiro Watanabe, MDDepartment of AnesthesiologyMito Saiseikai General HospitalIbaraki,

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