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Book and Media Reviews
May 27, 2009

Hand and Wrist Surgery

JAMA. 2009;301(20):2162-2166. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.733

Hand and Wrist Surgery, edited by Kevin Chung, is part of the Saunders Operative Techniques series. The text comprises a handsome 2-volume set that provides numerous color photographs and diagrams illustrating the techniques of hand surgery. The authors are well known and authoritative.

Each operation is discussed with bullet points that include indications, examination, imaging, surgical anatomy, positioning, portals and exposure procedure, postoperative care, and expected outcome. However, as is true in many branches of surgery, judgment and the decision to operate are key to a successful outcome—but while the book emphasizes the performance of the operations, most of the chapters provide little discussion regarding the indications. For example, the treatment of distal radius fractures is currently being evaluated critically in the literature, because the role of casting, external fixation, and plating is as yet not clearly determined. This discussion is unfortunately omitted, and the bibliographies to these chapters do not even mention key references on natural history and long-term follow-up to guide the clinician in treating a distal radius fracture.