Roberto Vialle L, ed. Wang JC, Lamartina C, guest eds. AOSpine Masters Series, Volume 8: Back Pain. Thieme; 2016; 230 pp; 133 ill; $119.99
AOSpine Masters Series is a collection of 10 volumes covering various topics of the spine. This review will cover Volume 8: Back Pain. One of the most common chief complaints encountered by our family physicians and orthopedic surgeons is back pain. At times, treating back pain is very challenging to our healthcare providers and places a significant social and economic burden on our healthcare system. This book reports that the prevalence of back pain ranges from 70–85%.
This publication is organized into 16 chapters covering a broad range of topics that include social aspects, physical exam, imaging, and treatment. There are also specific chapters dedicated to specific pathology, including that of the sacroiliac joints, myopathies, neuromuscular disease, and infection. Additional chapters discuss back pain in pediatric and adult populations. Within each chapter, the subtopics are clearly identified and tables are nicely labeled. One neat feature of each chapter is the “pearls and pitfalls,” which provides bolded teaching points.
The chapter on imaging provides a broad overview of indications, imaging techniques, and modalities available for back pain. The chapter provides a few pictorial examples of pathology affecting the spine. The imaging discussed in this chapter would be useful for the general practitioner, as it explains the algorithm behind radiographic work-up of back pain. This chapter also further explains the pros and cons of imaging modalities such as plain films and MRI. The images are of good size and quality.
At the end of each chapter, the authors cite the references used, making it easy to correlate the chapter content. The majority of the references are from peer-reviewed journals. One good feature is the authors’ highlighted “5 …