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Colour Guide to Sports Medicine. By E Sherry. (Pp 122; £9.50). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 1997. ISBN 0443054827.
The increasing recognition of sports medicine as a discipline within mainstream medicine is likely to herald an increasing number of new publications. It was with great interest that I opened the first page of this colour guide. The authors have set out to produce a well illustrated, practical pocket reference book that covers the essentials of sports medicine.
The contents are well laid out and divided into sections that briefly introduce general areas of interest, for example, sports science and sport and the environment before moving onto a more detailed look at individual regions and the injuries that are commonly encountered. There are also useful sections on specific areas that affect the female, child, adolescent, and elderly athlete.
The text is complemented with an extensive assortment of illustrations that cover examination technique, mechanisms of injury, clinical photographs, and radiographs. The faint hearted should be warned that some of the clinical illustrations show the darker side of sport with pictures of sudden death on the ski slopes, cervical crush fractures, and one poor child with an open tibial fracture.
I liked the practical way in which the book is laid out. Apart from dividing the book into anatomical sections the description of most injuries is further divided into of the mechanism of injury, clinical features, and treatment. As I have already mentioned most of the text is cross referenced with superb illustrations, which, unlike some books, are usefully located on the opposite page.
I was a little disappointed that, for what essentially is a field text, there was only a brief discussion of drug misuse and in particular there was no guide to legal prescribing in competition. There was also no reference to the treatment of common medical conditions, for example, diabetes and asthma in the context of sport. The sports physiology, science, and psychology sections were understandably, but nevertheless also a little disappointingly, short.
As somebody who shies away from ‘war and peace’ texts I was delighted to read the whole book in an afternoon. This will give you some idea that the authors have succeeded in their remit of writing a brief overview of the world of sports medicine. I congratulate the authors on producing a well laid out, excellently illustrated, interesting text, which certainly encouraged me to dive into a more complete text. It would have been helpful to provide a list of key references to satisfy the more enthusiastic reader. I could certainly recommend this book to anyone who wants a ‘colour guide to sports medicine’. I can see it particularly appealing to medical students, non-specialist doctors, and other health care professionals working within sports medicine. Although I suspect the sports medicine specialist would require a more comprehensive text, I am sure I will find it a useful pocket reference for those sticky moments out in the field or in clinic.
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