Dynamic Chiropractic - February 11, 1994, Volume 12, Issue 04

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Book Review

Title: Illustrated Essentials in Orthopedic Physical Assessment

Category:    Doctor and Student Education

Author:      Ronald C. Evans, DC, FACO, FICC

Publisher:   Mosby Year Book

Publication: Hard Cover, 599 Pages

Here is another illustrated book of orthopedic tests. Is it as good as the one by Dr. Mazion? Let's take a look.

In Dr. Evans' book, turning to page 62 and 63, we find two complete pages devoted to Spurling's test. There is a brief (three paragraph) explanation of the physiology and rationale behind the test. After that is a single paragraph detailing the procedure. Following is a paragraph devoted to "confirming procedures," i.e., other tests that could be done to further test the same structures to narrow down the differential diagnosis list. Finally, there is a single sentence under the assignation "reporting statement." It uses language that would be proper in reporting a positive Spurling's test in a report or to an insurance company. It says, "Spurling's test is positive on the right with pain and paresthesia elicited in the C5 dermatome."

On page 63 are four excellent photographs showing the test procedure. Each picture has a few sentences describing in great detail what is going on.

Well, it looks like the book measures up. It has a thorough text and photographic portrayal of each orthopedic test. But what about a good index? Yes, it has one and it is easy to use. In fact, you can even look up a body part and find listed all the tests you can perform. You can even look up the word "extension" and find all the test in all parts of the body that use extension as a component of the test. It is very impressive so far.

Wouldn't it be nice to have an algorithm for the various parts of the body? This book has it and not just a few. There is one for every major joint in the spine as well as extremities.

Is there anything to criticize? Well, just two things. First, there is no phonetical spelling to tell you how to pronounce Fajersztajn's test. Second, I had to read chapter one three times before I could make sense of it. It has pictures and descriptions of various instruments, but is not very well laid out. However, these two criticisms are like throwing spitballs at a battleship. The book is simply great.

Dr. Evans is an examiner emeritus of the American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists and chairman of the Iowa Board of Chiropractic Examiners. He is very qualified to write a book such as this and it certainly shows.

Eggleston Rating: 10