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Title: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Author: Randall Braddom
Publisher: Saunders; Number of pages: 1532
Reviewed by: Jim Rogers, CPO, FAAOP

The fourth edition of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is both an extensive and general reference book. At just over 1,500 pages, it serves as a valuable resource for O&P clinicians like me as well as a wide range of allied health professionals.

The author's stated objective was to compile a useful and practical compendium of best practices for the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). PM&R is dynamic and expanding, with physicians encompassing all specialties in rehabilitation, so this was a lofty goal. He has succeeded. There are four sections to the book: "Evaluation," "Treatment Techniques and Special Equipment," "Common Clinical Problems," and "Issues in Specific Diagnoses." In each section, the orthotist-prosthetist will find overviews of topics relevant to their practice.

Section 1, "Evaluation," includes chapters on history and physical techniques, examination of the pediatric patient, gait analysis, and quality and outcomes measurements, among other topics. The chapters cover the breadth of the topic in a generalized fashion that provides the reader with a good understanding of the topic and a basis to delve further if there is an interest or necessity exists. The chapter on outcomes measurement, rather than introducing various tools, tracks the history of measures development, including the historical changes in CMS efforts to move toward pay for performance. If you want to understand the global perspective on why you need to use outcomes measures in your everyday practice, this chapter provides it, but you'll have to find the specific measures elsewhere.

Orthotics and prosthetics is covered in section 2,"Techniques and Special Equipment." You won't learn anything new here, but the first five chapters are dedicated to upper- and lower-limb prosthetics, orthotics, and spinal orthoses. Each chapter covers the various devices in much the same way you might present them to an audience of allied health professionals for whom general knowledge is adequate. For the most part, the techniques and devices covered are current. If you are a physiatrist or other allied health professional wanting to familiarize yourself with the scope of orthotic and prosthetic care, these chapters are informative and useful.

"Common Clinical Problems," the third section, presents the ancillary clinical issues that many patients experience within a given diagnosis. I found in these chapters a wealth of useful information that will help me to encourage my patients and better understand issues that might complicate their functional potential. I have found section four to be a great reference. Of the 25 chapters, 21 deal with diagnoses I encounter on a regular basis.

In summary: This volume is wide-ranging and somewhat basic, but probably has no equal in covering the diagnoses we encounter routinely. If you wish to expand your general knowledge of disabling conditions and PM&R, I suggest you consider making some space for this volume on your reference shelf.

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