Dynamic Chiropractic - January 3, 1990, Volume 08, Issue 01

Page printed from:

Knee Pain and Disability

by -- Rene Cailliet, M.D.
(one in a set of seven volumes)

Softcover -- 177 pages

(this text available through purchase of entire set only) See pages xx on how to order

When I practiced in San Diego a few years ago I found myself in the middle of an old folks' community. That's right -- I said old folks. From a personal standpoint, I hate all the phony titles society has seen fit to bestow upon everyone from garbage collectors to janitors.

Old people in particular have been pandered to the excess. No longer "old" they are now "senior" with all the "rights" commerce can think up to grab a piece of their social security checks. While there are now times when I can get reduced prices at a restaurant or movie, I refuse as a matter of personal dignity. Funny -- but I don't think any society should feel honored because I've stuck around a certain number of years. Right now I feel as I did when I was 25 and expect to be treated that way. Sure, if you're old and can't afford certain luxuries a price break might be needed, but all too often these breaks are abused by arrogant and selfish old people who, for some reason, have come to believe they are "owed" something just because they are still alive. Again -- those in proven need should be aided, but the key word is "proven."

Anyway, I lived near an area of well-to-do, old fat cats looking for and demanding every price break they could squeeze from the rest of us.

A good example was an elderly old man who could afford the best in health care but insisted on going to some rotten HMO that took two dollars from him with every visit, while it sucked the balance of $48 from Medicare.

One day this fellow came in complaining that he had a bad knee. When asked why he hadn't come in earlier, he told me that he had gone to the HMO for the problem because it only cost him two dollars. The visit, however, had not been very satisfactory since the doctor had only stuck his head in the door once to ask what was wrong. When the patient said his knee hurt, the doctor told him to take a couple of aspirin and left. So much for two dollar health care. Fortunately, I had a graduate degree in chiropractic orthopedics and was able to apply the correct therapy -- but for a bit more than two dollars.

All too often, however, chiropractors stick strictly to the spine as if this were God's territory -- a place where only the likes of B.J. Palmer might dwell. The rest of the body is just a bag of rather useless bones hanging around the spinal column.

For the progressive and the enlightened, the book Knee Pain and Disability, by Rene Cailliet, M.D., is for you. Cailliet is, of course, not a chiropractor and never references or even looks in our direction in his texts. If you can get past this hurdle you're in for a treat because few health professionals can pack so much information so succinctly into one volume.

In its 177 pages are 10 chapters and 126 listed illustrations of written and graphic clarity that only Cailliet seems to have mastered. As with his other body part texts, Chapter one is on the structural anatomy of the knee. This alone, to me, is worth the price of admission and is followed by one of equal value on the functional anatomy. The following chapters are about meniscal, ligamentous-capsular, and patellar injuries. The arthritides affecting the knee follows and is one of the best chapters I've ever read on the subject. The last three chapters cover fractures, deformities and finally the knee in cerebral palsy.

While his approach to all of the preceding is essentially medical in character, one can easily discern the fine thread of conservatism through the therapeutic fabric he espouses.

It matters not if you plan to treat old or new knees -- if you plan to treat the whole person the Cailliet series is a treasure of which the text on the knee is an excellent example.