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Surgical Disorders of the Peripheral Nerves.

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    Surgical Disorders of the Peripheral Nerves. Edited by r birch, g bonney, and c b wynn parry. (Pp 539, £95.00). Published by Harcourt Brace and Co Ltd. London 1998. ISBN 0 443 04443 0.

    I wondered, when I received this book, how I could possibly say anything adverse about a book written by three such world renowned experts. I have heard them all lecture often and have seen them all at work. They have a vast knowledge and experience of treating disorders of peripheral nerves. In clinic and the operating theatre, they have shown myself and many trainees a clarity in their planning of management of complex problems that humbles one’s own thoughts. That clarity has continued in this text book of over 500 pages. The field of peripheral nerve surgery is covered comprehensively, commencing with descriptions of anatomy, physiology, and pathological reaction to injury. This is followed in subsequent chapters with descriptions of approaches to virtually all the main peripheral nerves, and the operative management of brachial plexus injury and outcomes is covered in three detailed chapters. These are followed by chapters on nerve entrapment, neuropathy, iatropathic injury, and neoplasm within the peripheral nerve. The final section covers electrodiagnosis, pain, nerve recovery, reconstruction techniques, and rehabilitation.

    The text is well written, easy to read, and supplemented by some excellent line drawings similar to those used in Lundborg’s text. There are detailed plates showing histology and various imaging techniques. Each chapter is comprehensive, containing important historical aspects as well as up to date techniques, and there is an extensive reference section. I would recommend that trainees of all specialties dealing with peripheral nerve injuries should read much of this text and it would be extremely useful as a regular reference. It would also make an important and necessary addition to most medical libraries. All clinicians would be well advised to read the chapters on iatropathic injuries, not only for the extensive causes of such injuries encompassing all medical and surgical departments, but also for the précis of the changes occurring in medical negligence claims. This text represents good value for money.

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