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The Back Book

, 168 pages

7 color illus.

December 2008



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Usually ships 2-3 business days after receipt of order.

The Back Book

Eighty percent of Americans experience back pain in varying degrees at some point in their lives. In fact, back pain is second only to the common cold as a reason why people visit a doctor.

In The Back Book, Johns Hopkins surgeons Ziya L. Gokaslan and Lee Hunter Riley explain the causes and complexities of back pain and the various paths to diagnosis and treatment. Stressing the importance of individualized treatment, they discuss the process of establishing a treatment plan that is acceptable to the person with pain as well as to the attending physician. They also:

• lay out reasonable expectations for surgical and nonsurgical treatment• illuminate the possibilities, risks, and limitations of back surgery• describe how to select a surgeon and the importance of choosing the right one

Informative and reassuring, The Back Book provides readers with the knowledge they need to understand their back pain and get started on the route to relief.

Ziya L. Gokaslan, M.D., is the director of the Neurosurgical Spine Program and vice chairman of the department of neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins University, where he is also the Donlin M. Long Professor and a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, and orthopaedic surgery. Lee Hunter Riley III, M.D., is the director of the Orthopaedic Spine Division and an associate professor of orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins University.

"Neurosurgeon Gokaslan and orthopedist Riley... frequently reassure readers that back pain is usually self-limited, without major treatments or surgery, and they offer recommendations for finding authoritative information, including web sites from national spine organizations. Diagnostic and imaging tests are described, as are pain relief and nonsurgical treatments; physical therapy is strongly promoted both as treatment and as prevention. Gokaslan and Riley give a general overview of back surgeries, placing particular emphasis on matching patient and physician expectations of realistic outcomes. A large amount of information is packed into this slim volume. Although the reading level is high, it should be a popular addition to consumer health collections."

"A complete and comprehensive guide to the back, it provides an excellently researched manual... A must for any who are facing back pain and are evaluating their options fully."

"The authors do a good job of describing the full range of treatments from physical therapy to surgery. Also included are a useful index and an interesting section describing how to choose an appropriate and helpful Web site. Another section on how to talk to a physician should be helpful for anyone who has encountered difficulties."

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