Harnsberger HR, Ross JS, Shah LM, et al. Specialty Imaging: Pain Management: Essentials of Image-Guided Procedures. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 200 pages, $139.00.
In another exceptional publication by Amirsys, Specialty Imaging: Pain Management: Essentials of Image-Guided Procedures, Dr. D La Barge and his co-authors have covered the subject of the most commonly performed pain management procedures comprehensively and in an easy-to-follow visual manner. (Of note is that the authors are all neuroradiologists, and there is no input in the text from pain management physicians).
Making use of hundreds of images as well as bulleted text format, the information provided is easily accessible and user friendly. It is organized by body region. These include anatomical areas such as skull base, cervical spine, vertebral body, thoracic and lumbar spine, and intervertebral disc. Each of the above anatomical sections is divided up into its particular anatomy, which then follows with the commonly performed pain management procedure involving this region. To make referencing easier, each region/area is given a specific color code. Diagrams, illustrations, and actual fluoroscopy and CT images further enhance the relevant points needed to perform these interventions. The book is filled with superior medical illustrations of a variety of modalities, all with sufficient correlative captioning. This system of illustrative captioning is very informative to both the expert and the novice alike. Each procedure is discussed under concise and relevant subheadings. Again these use a bulleted format and include information on patient positioning, equipment needed and equipment preparation, and procedural steps. Findings, procedure reporting, and alternate procedures further complete each section. Post procedure, expected outcomes, and possible complications end each section.
Other important features include practice guidance when problems are encountered during needle placement. Introductory sections include a brief review of diagnostic imaging techniques and a brief outline of commonly used medications and contrast agents. Radiation safety is also briefly discussed; this aspect is all too often forgotten in the pursuit of good therapeutic outcomes.
A “key facts” section has also been included, which provides quick reference to the most critical considerations for each procedure. These entries essentially give the procedure in a nutshell and stresses/recaps main points. Selected references are given at the end of each section, which enables the interested reader to further research these topics. Although these references are a good starting point for those interested in the subject, they are not exhaustive.
In summary, this is an excellent overview text on pain management. It is essentially a brief outline on the different topics and pain management procedures. There are a number of more detailed books on this subject and their number is ever growing. This text, however, is not too brief for those practitioners practicing pain management nor too detailed for those just interested in the subject. I would highly recommend this book to either the former or latter of the above group of practitioners.