Atlas of Common Pain Syndromes, 2nd Edition. By Steven D. Waldman, M.D., J.D. Philadelphia, Saunders (Elsevier), 2008. Pages: 384. Price: $119.00.

This is a great book! It is an expanded, new edition of a well-received atlas of pain syndromes. The book is organized into 16 sections by anatomy, beginning with the head and ending with the foot. Each section has multiple chapters dedicated to different pain syndromes. The chapters are subdivided into sections that give a description of the syndrome, signs and symptoms, testing, differential diagnosis, treatment, and complications and pitfalls. The last item of each chapter is a short, highlighted section on clinical pearls. Even the International Classification of Diseases , 9th Revision, code is provided for each diagnosis. The book is liberally illustrated with high-quality color drawings that demonstrate important clinical features and anatomy. There are also large numbers of high-resolution radiographs and magnetic resonance images. An accompanying CD-ROM provides all the illustrations in a file format suitable for downloading to PowerPoint (Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA).

The author’s preface clearly states that the focus of the book is on diagnosis of pain syndromes. I must commend Dr. Waldman for providing superb information on the diagnosis of each pain syndrome and emphasizing the importance of diagnostic accuracy. Treatment is not ignored, however, and each syndrome has a concise discussion of appropriate medical, interventional, and surgical therapies.

What educational niche does this book fill? This is a wonderful book for those of us who are not pain specialists and require up-to-date information regarding chronic pain management. I learned a great deal from this book, and I am glad to have it in my personal library. It is now my initial pain reference textbook. Residents beginning their study of chronic pain management will find this book very helpful. The book also provides a very organized structure for board preparation. Pain management specialists will find this book to be a valuable quick reference for infrequently encountered pain syndromes. Interestingly, there are no references in the book. The pain specialist seeking an in-depth analysis of different treatment modalities may find the lack of references a disappointment. The rich supply of images on the CD-ROM provides educators with a ready source of didactic material.

Dr. Waldman’s writing style is crisp and concise, and the information is organized in a logical sequence. I recommend this book to any anesthesiologist who desires to expand his or her knowledge of chronic pain syndromes.

Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.