Editor: Steven D. Waldman, MD
Publisher: Elsevier Saunders – 940 pages
Book Review by: Nano Khilnani

Over the years since its first edition came out in 1998, this textbook “has enjoyed enormous success, becoming the largest-selling pain management text currently in print,” Dr. Waldman writes in his Preface. One testimony to its popularity and broad appeal is the fact that this book has been translated into over 15 languages. Another is its high ranking of about 176,000 on the  Amazon website.

“Pain management” is a relatively new specialty in medicine. This specialty was changed in 2002 to be called “pain medicine.” The first “official” examinations for medical students desiring to practice pain medicine were held in 1993 in Chicago.

Today, for a certification to be issued by the American Board of Medical Specialties for anyone to practice pain medicine, the candidate must complete a four-year residency in anesthesiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, and related subjects; followed by a one- to two-year fellowship in pain medicine, and passing a rigorous written exam.

Knowledge in this specialty has grown, and new discoveries are being recorded rapidly,  enabling practitioners to treat their patients more effectively. This book provides a wealth of information, and the material in it is organized based on the human anatomy. It contains 167 chapters within eight broad sections, namely:

  1. Head
  2. Neck
  3. Shoulder and Upper Extremity
  4. Thorax and Chest Wall
  5. Abdomen and Abdominal Wall
  6. Back and Pelvis
  7. Lower Extremity
  8. Advanced Interventional Pain Management Techniques

An Index at the end of this book enables you to search for topics you want to study more on.  Actual full-color photos of patients being treated are available in the book. You will also find full-color anatomic sketches with labeled descriptions, color Doppler images, views through fluoroscopes, magnetic resonance images (MRIs), and ultrasound images.

In terms of textual information, you will find valuable insight in Clinical Pearls, and data in Tables.

In addition to information available on its nearly 1,000 printed pages, you can also access material online. The contents of this book, like most other Elsevier books, are available online. Enhanced eBooks from Elsevier Publishing for medical professionals are compatible with the PC, Mac, most mobile devices, and eReaders. Expert Consult allows you to browse, search, and interact with this title – online and offline.

To get access to the contents of this book and other information online, first redeem your PIN from the inside front cover of the book. Here’s what you do:

  1. Login or Sign Up at www.ExpertConsult.com
  2. Scratch off the gray stickler on the inside from cover to get your PIN code
  3. Enter PIN into the Redeem a Book Code box at the above website
  4. Click Redeem
  5. Go to My Library

Once you have logged in, these are the innovative features available to you online:

  • Seamless, real-time integration between devices
  • Straightforward navigation and search
  • Notes and highlights sharing with other users through social media
  • Enhanced images with annotations, labels, and hot spots for zooming on specific details*
  • Live streaming video and animations*
  • Self-assessment tools such as questions embedded within the text and multiple-format quizzes. *Some features vary by title

To enhance your learning, this book enables you to view some videos. The Video Contents of this book are the following:

  1. Cervical Translaminar Epidural Block
  2. Cervical Paravertebral Medial Branch Block
  3. Percutaneous Facet Fusion
  4. Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Block
  5. Caudal Epidural Block
  6. Percutaneous Lumbar Diskectomy
  7. Radiofrequency Lesioning of the Lumbar Medial Branches
  8. Spinal Cord Simulation Trial
  9. Cervical Lysis of Adhesions Racz Procedure
  10. Vertebroplasty

You can get even more valuable information from an allied website – www.ClinicalKey.com.  This search engine of Elsevier Saunders is specially designed for doctors by providing them:

  1. Comprehensive Content – the most current, evidence-based answers available for every medical and surgical specialty
  2. Trusted Answers – content supplied by Elsevier, the world’s leading provider of health and science information
  3. Unrivaled Speed to Answer – faster, more relevant clinical answers, so you can spend less time searching and more time caring for your patients

Once you use this book, you’ll understand why it has become the largest seller in the area of interventional pain management.



Steven D. Waldman, MD, JD is Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology, and Clinical Professor of Medial Humanities and Bioethics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri.