Title: Care of the Combat Amputee
Editors: Paul F. Pasquina, MD, and Rory A. Cooper, PhD
Publisher: Office of the Surgeon General at TMM Publications; Number of pages: 739
Reviewed by: Joseph B. Webster, MD
Care of the Combat Amputee is a comprehensive textbook that provides an in-depth and detailed review of all aspects of care for the combat amputee. The 28 chapters of this text cover essentially every component of amputation care from surgical considerations to sports and recreational opportunities to the future of amputee care research. A variety of other trauma-related topics including burns, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury also are included. The depth of this book is reflected in the fact that it includes over 120 contributors from a wide variety of disciplines from both inside and outside of the military. The majority of the chapters are written by multiple authors, and each of the authors provides a high degree of knowledge and expertise.
The strength of this book is the depth of its content as well as the broad variety of topics covered. The text is dense, but the chapters are organized and structured so that it is relatively easy to locate the specific information being searched for. The illustrations are superb, and the tables and graphs are also very complementary to the comprehensive text. The text is well referenced with several chapters including 200-300 references. If there is a weakness of the book, it may be the limited inclusion of orthotic management topics even though the combat amputee commonly requires orthotic management of other injured but non-amputated limbs. Coverage of partial foot amputation management is also relatively limited compared to other topics.
In summary: I highly recommend this book as an essential reference text for all healthcare providers who are involved in the care of persons with traumatic amputations, whether the amputation is the result of a combat injury or other trauma. It is a suitable reference textbook for a variety of medical professionals including prosthetists, physicians, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, and care coordinators. The material included in the text is certain to be of value to providers in the Military Health System, those in the Veterans Health Administration, and those in private or academic practices.
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