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Book review: McRae’s Elective Orthopaedics

Dr Harry Brown reviews McRae’s Elective Orthopaedics which is suitable for junior orthopaedic surgical trainees as well as other health professionals who encounter patients with musculoskeletal illnesses.

McRae’s Elective Orthopaedics (7th Edition)

Paul Jenkins, David Shields and Timothy White

ISBN 978-0-7020-8125-5

Published by Elsevier (October 22)

Price £48.99

McRae’s Elective Orthopaedics is an excellent paperback book that comes in at 300 pages including the index and covers an impressive array of elective orthopaedic issues considering its size. Its design is similar to its sister publication, the excellent McRae’s Orthopaedic Trauma and together they make a decent package.

The elective orthopaedic book is a slim volume, but it contains a lot of information and is a pleasure to read. I would imagine it would be aimed at orthopaedic trainees in the early stages of their career and would also make an excellent primary care resource.

It will also be suitable for healthcare professionals in other specialities wanting a good and dependable resource on elective orthopaedics. Medical students will also find this useful, especially British ones as it is relevant to UK practice. The authors are associated with either Glasgow or Edinburgh and even the book is printed in Scotland!

McRae’s Elective Orthopaedics is well written and logically laid out and most double page spreads have either an image or table breaking up the text. The book is divided into anatomical sections such as hand and spine and there are separate sections on paediatrics and oncology. So, it is possible to read an individual section in its entirety or it can be used as a reliable reference source for looking up individual topics.

Despite its relatively slim size, it is surprisingly comprehensive. For example, looking up a limb in a child, there is an excellent flow chart on the differential diagnosis of a limp.

The book is uniformly informative, and the text is clear with the excellent text supported by generous amounts of clear diagrams. This is highlighted (as an example) by the first-rate description of Lumbar Stenosis on page 214 with an excellent and easy to read summary highlighted by three diagrams and one table (the differentiation of vascular and neurogenic claudication).

Bundled with the price of the book is an eBook but unfortunately the access codes on the inside cover were missing. So, I contacted technical support, they were helpful, but it seems that the eBook is currently not available.

This should not detract from what is a very readable and well-produced book that will go a long way for supporting healthcare professionals wanting a reliable source of information about elective orthopaedics. I think the price of the book is fair as it the book itself is top quality and is an easy on the eye read.

Dr Harry Brown is a retired GP and medical editor of Pavilion Health Today


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