Book Review

Spinal Cord Injury in the Child and Young Adult Edited by Lawrence C Vogel, Kathy Zebracki, Randal R Betz and MJ Mulcahey

Book Review by Deborah Gaebler Spira

Feinberg Northwestern University School of Medicine, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Published in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, April 2015

Vogel, Spinal Cord Injury in the Child and Young Adult, Cover


The aim of Spinal Cord Injury in the Child and Young Adult is to provide a one-source reference for all the aspects of care for the child and adolescent with a spinal cord injury (SCI), including the important process of aging with the disability.

The current volume is an expansion of the first published work The Child With a Spinal Cord Injury (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Rosemont, IL, 1996). The previous editors, Randal R Betz and MJ Mulcahey are retained for the current book which establishes expertise and continuity. The team approach to care of the child with SCI is evident in the construction of the book and the way the key concepts of care are presented.

The focus of the book expands the topics to encompass the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health paradigm. The main sections include early management, unique pediatric considerations, medical management, neuromuscular, and psychosocial issues. The editors have chosen well-known national experts for the diverse chapters. The chapters on vocation and psychosocial adjustment represent an impressive body of work that informs the context of change for the family. Most authors begin with a vignette that retains a person-first approach to the problems explored in each chapter.

This is a very practical and useful book for all physicians involved with the care of SCI, including those in acute care management as well as chronic care such as physiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, and pediatricians. Many others will find this book essential as the role of the physical and occupational therapists, psychologists, vocational and social workers, and mobility specialists are important and are tied to the chapters on known outcomes. This edition highlights the viable emerging research priorities, which have improved our knowledge and ultimate care. I anticipate Spinal Cord Injury in the Child and Young Adult will become the ‘go-to’ book for the care and rehabilitation for children and young adults with SCI.