The classic two-volume bible for the foot is Disorders of the Foot by Jahss (W.B. Saunders). This is more than you could ever want to know about feet. Not specifically a diagnosis book of foot disorders, yet an excellent biomechanical discussion of the foot and its impact on the lower extremity is Foot Orthoses by Michaud (Williams & Wilkins). The author is a chiropractor. He manages to give the most clearly laid out description of normal and abnormal biomechanics of the foot (and suggested orthotic support) than any other text I have read. Another chiropractic text, The Foot and Ankle by Logan (Aspen), is a mixed bag. The radiographic chapter by Rowe is good and some of the treatment chapters are interesting.
Two bibles that are recommended are The Knee by Larsen and Grana (Saunders), and Disorders of the Knee by Helfet (Lippincott). The Helfet book was one of the first knee-specific texts and provides a good starting point for an in-depth look at the knee. The Larsen/Grana text is newer and gives an excellent overview of current thinking in medicine with an emphasis on surgery. From a clinical diagnostic standpoint, you will not be able to get more detail than that provided by Diagnostic Evaluation of the Knee by Strobel and Stredtfield (Springer-Verlag). The anatomical drawings, illustrations of testing, and pain localization illustrations are the best I have seen. Be prepared to pay for this quality. Fulkerson and Hungerford's Disorders of the Patellofemoral Joint (Williams & Wilkins) is a great source on these specific disorders that are common in athletes. Logan, as part of a series, published The Knee (Aspen). Like the foot and ankle counterpart, there is a mixed bag of good and not-so-good text. It does offer some unique taping and exercise approaches. This is not one of my favorite books, however I feel it is worth mentioning because it was written from a chiropractic perspective.
The Wrist and Hand
Specific to sports injuries, Hand Injuries in Athletes by Strickland and Rettig is a pretty good text with good descriptions of conservative and surgical options. The massive four-volume set of The Hand by Tubiana (W.B. Saunders) should answer almost any medical question about hand disorders. The Wrist by Taleisnik (Churchill-Livingstone) is still considered the classic text.
The classic text The Elbow and Its Disorders by Morrey (W.B. Saunders) is an often-quoted text when discussing specific disorders or biomechanics.
The most remarkable text I have read on the shoulder is The Shoulder by Rockwood and Matsen (W.B. Saunders). The text in this book is some of the most creative technical writing I have read. Of course, there is heavy emphasis on surgery and lack of focus on sports injuries, yet as an overall shoulder text, there is no comparison. Prior to this book, the standard text was Rowe's The Shoulder (Churchill-Livingstone). I like this book because it is largely based on Rowe's clinical experience, which is impressive. Other books worth mentioning (besides my own) are The Athletic Shoulder by Anderson and Wilk (Churchill-Livingstone), and The Seven-Minute Rotator Cuff Solution by Horrigan (another chiropractor). Both are excellent. Horrigan's text manages to squeeze a lot of information into a small and affordable paperback book.
The Temporomandibular Joint
From a chiropractic perspective, the work of Darryl Curl should be mentioned. Although his text, Chiropractic Approaches to Head Pain (Williams & Wilkins), is good, I find his discussion in Advances in Chiropractic (Volume 2) more up-to-date and informative.
Don't forget the classic Cailliet series on specific joints. Although these are not sports-oriented, they provide a wonderful, entertaining groundwork upon which to build your region-specific knowledge base. These books are paperback, inexpensive, and portable.
Many publishers have a 30 day money back guarantee, so it is worth the effort to screen some of these texts. My favorite approach is to browse my local medical or chiropractic college bookstore. You can cover a lot of ground without the hassle of returning texts you are disappointed in. The more expensive texts are probably worth using as library books. Good reading!
Thomas Souza, DC, DACBSP
San Jose, California