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Book Review: Vestibular Rehabilitation, Third Edition, edited by Susan J. Herdman

Fuller, Kenda PT, NCS

Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy: June 2008 - Volume 32 - Issue 2 - p 106
doi: 10.1097/NPT.0b013e318178d5d6

South Valley Physical Therapy, Denver, Colorado.

Address correspondence to: Kenda Fuller, E-mail:

The publisher is F.A. Davis, copyright 2007, and the book is part of the Contemporary Perspectives in Rehabilitation series. It is in hardcover and costs $102.00.

This is the third time that I have eagerly awaited the publication of Vestibular Rehabilitation. As the name suggests, the focus is on the vestibular mechanisms and expands to discussion about interventions targeted at a variety of disorders that relate to vestibular function.

The book is divided into four sections. New contributors have been added throughout the text beginning with the fundamentals that includes an overview of anatomy, physiology, and pathology. The description of adaptation, the primary basis for our interventions, highlights current studies.

The second section includes medical assessment and vestibular function tests. Postural control mechanisms inherent in assessment are detailed based on landmark studies. The complex structures and integration between systems is explained as part of the dynamic compensation process after vestibular lesions.

The third section covers medical and surgical management. Understanding the medical assessment is critical to create the link between the physician and patient and to determine the best intervention. We understand that the integration of test results drives the success of diagnosis. Medical management in this edition includes expanded information on migraine, mal de débarquement, and the psychological disorders that must be recognized to manage this group of patients.

The final section includes the rehabilitation chapters. In this edition, there are more depth and breadth than in the earlier editions. Descriptions of the contribution of vestibular system as a part of larger dysfunction such as head injury and within special populations such as pediatrics or geriatrics bring the information into the realm of typical practice patterns. Specific problems such as positional vertigo are explored more extensively and more options for intervention are described. Cervicogenic dizziness is discussed in light of diagnosis and intervention.

The knowledge base of vestibular rehabilitation has expanded greatly in the nearly 20 years that I have been in this field. We are continually working to identify clinical patterns for understandable educational strategies and best practice within this base. The text, while not providing all the answers, outlines the comprehensive nature and blending of expertise necessary to manage the myriad of problems that may be related. Completely new in this edition is the CD-ROM providing a look at selected procedures and clinical assessments.

Susan Herdman brings together a variety of opinions and concepts that go beyond entry level basics. The experienced clinician will search the text for specific information. For the therapist interested in expanding practice into this area, this text remains an important resource.

© 2008 Neurology Section, APTA