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Sports PhysiotherapyJul 4, 2024

Physio Nick Worth reviews 'Knee pain in Sports Medicine: Essentials of diagnosis and treatment'

Knee pain in Sports Medicine: Essentials of diagnosis and treatment, 1st Edition

Editors: Anis Jellad, Amine Kalai and Ahmed Zrig

Publisher: Elsevier Health

ISBN: 9780323880695

Full Price: £84.99 (discount available: see below)

PhysioUpdate has teamed up with Elsevier Health to offer readers an exclusive 20 per cent discount on this book and others that will appeal to physiotherapists in a wide range of settings and specialties. For more information, click

While this book may not become the ‘go-to’ text on this topic, it is easy to read, says Nick

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Describes 14 pathologies

This book is an overview of a selection of knee pathologies that the authors encounter within their regular sports medicine practice. In total, 14 pathologies are described, with each condition having a background section relating to the aetiology and clinical history. Other sections include clinical findings and differential diagnosis before describing potential treatment modalities.

This is where the textbook becomes challenging. In most cases, the treatment options include conservative or surgical management – which is straightforward enough, but also includes corticosteroid injections in lesions that most of contemporary sports medicine practice has moved away from.

In the past 15 years, clinicians have been more cautious with corticosteroid injections as the evidence base of the deleterious effects, alongside those that arise from the use of local anaesthetic have integrated into practice. The authors do occasionally mention controversies that exist with injecting, but the references can be outdated when supporting their inclusion.

Many colour photographs showing where the practitioner's hand positions could be when examining a joint area ... would be helpful for someone who may be looking to develop their wider understanding of sports medicine

Readers can assess their learning at the end

There are many references for each condition but on closer inspection, they can often be more than 10 years old – and some are derived from the late 1970s! That is absolutely reasonable for a seminal article but, in many cases, there are numerous contemporaneous articles that have progressed current thinking regarding management of these conditions. As a modern text, this can be a major drawback.

On a more positive note, however, this book contains appropriate differential diagnoses or synonyms for the pathologies with many colour photographs showing where the practitioner's hand positions could be when examining a joint area. This would be helpful for someone who may be looking to develop their wider understanding of sports medicine.

Frequent images of radiological examinations are included as well as some hand-drawn diagrams by one of the editors. This adds to the feel of the text being a quick reference guide that a practitioner may pick up when wanting to check for some information when performing a clinical assessment.

At the end of the book, you will find 11 case studies and 15 multiple choice questions to assess your learning. This section may be useful for junior doctors wanting to increase their knowledge of knee injuries. Many of the pathologies omit some contemporary treatment options, such as taping techniques, and rely on fairly medicalised approaches.

Treatment options can often be described in a couple of lines of text, where some greater explanations would have been beneficial to those clinicians who are looking for tips and advice from the experienced authors. Some of the ‘take home’ message sections at the end of each chapter can be useful reminders of interesting aspects to each pathology.

A 'handy guide' for some readers

While this textbook is probably primarily aimed towards doctors, it could be a handy guide for less experienced physiotherapists who are looking for a few pointers. In my opinion, more appropriate books might be available for physiotherapists that give greater detail on assessment and treatment modalities

An interesting aspect to reading this book is that it makes you aware how some sports medicine clinicians from outside the UK are managing knee pain. It can be all too easy to slip into the habit of assuming that most clinicians think or act in similar ways to you, but Professor Anis Jellad and his colleagues highlight the diversity that exists and the variety of effective options of treatment that could be considered.

This book may not become the ‘go-to’ text on this topic, but it is easy to read and the suggestions and tips for enhancing your practice are easily accessible. I would suggest that readers maintain a healthy awareness that while some references may be not quite ‘state of the art’, there is a lot of information contained in the text to keep you interested.

Information about the editors

The editors are Professor Anis Jellad, Assistant Professor Amine Kalai and Associate Professor Ahmed Zrig, all of whom are based at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Monastir and University Hospital of Monastir, Tunisia.

Nick Worth is a physiotherapist who runs a private practice. He is the chair of the Society of Musculoskeletal Medicine (SOMM). For more information about SOMM, click

X (Twitter): @Nickworthphysio

To read Nick's review of The Lifestyle Medicine Toolbox: Mind-body approaches for health promotion, click


Author: Nick Worth
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