Book Review: Essential Sports Medicine


Essential Sports Medicine
Edited by Richard Higgins, Peter Brukner and Bryan English.
Published by Blackwell, pp 160, £24.99.
ISBN: 9-78140-5114387

This is primarily a UK written sports medicine book whose primary audience is intended to be at an undergraduate level. With the expansion of the speciality as a whole it is always a difficult task to be comprehensive, but the major fundamentals have been covered in a very clear and concise manner. The book is well laid out and presented with a generous number of illustrations. Colour would have been nice but I guess budget constraints did not permit this or is it meant to reflect the murky British weather?

There is a good balance between musculoskeletal injuries and medical based problems. Basic nutrition and exercise physiology have also been included.

The book has been well researched, as you would expect from the quality of the contributors, and each chapter finishes with a short list of further reference material for those interested. I found the information to be very current and up-to-date. Even an ageing sports physician such as myself was able to learn an extra thing or two!

I was particularly interested in the sports specific injury section; secretly I was hoping that there may have been a medical explanation or two in there from one of the co-editors as to why Chelsea had a trophyless season—never mind!

Overall this book has very few weaknesses, certainly nothing worth mentioning. I feel it has more than achieved its aim of reaching the intended target audience and I can see this material becoming a good source reference book in the years to come, with further revisions, especially when sports medicine finally becomes a part of the undergraduate UK medical curriculum. No doubt it will encourage a few undergraduate physiotherapy and medical students to enter a sports medicine career path.

Objective details

  • Targeted to an undergraduate audience.
  • Peter Bruckner is a well known author and has written arguably one of the finest books in sports medicine, Clinical sports medicine, with Karim Khan (McGraw Hill Publications).

Subjective details

  • The easy reading style along with the illustrations was appealing although JK Rowling need not worry about the competition!
  • Not useful to me at this point in my career; certainly would have been valuable when I was starting out.

Arjun Rao
Maylands, Washington State, USA

Presentation 16
Comprehensiveness 15
Readability 16
Relevance 15
Evidence basis 15

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