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September 1, 1975

The Spine

Author Affiliations

University of Iowa Hospitals Iowa City

JAMA. 1975;233(9):1006. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260090072034

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The avowed aspirations of the authors, "to include all aspects of diagnosis and treatment of spinal disease, to lower the traditional disciplinary barriers and biases, and to present a uniform guideline to problem solving in this area," probably border on impossibility. Despite this, they have made a noble and commendable effort. More of our clinical and research efforts must be directed to solving the mystery of the numerous maladies that contribute to discomfort, morbidity, loss of work, deformity, disability, insurance settlements, and legal entanglements.

These two attractive, superbly produced, lucidly and profusely illustrated, comprehensive volumes certainly summarize our current state of knowledge, which in many instances remains woefully inadequate. Initial chapters on embryology, anatomy, and surgical approaches provide excellent reviews. Sections on clinical disorders include congenital defects, scoliosis, disk disease, infection, metabolic disease, arthritis, and neoplasms. Although the personal biases of some authors are obvious, in general, these sections present