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February 26, 1921


JAMA. 1921;76(9):590. doi:10.1001/jama.1921.92630090029014a

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Ainhum is fairly common in British Honduras. It has been described as a chronic dystrophy of the fifth or fourth toe in native races, characterized by the formation of a furrow at the digitoplantar fold. This fibrosis extends, injuring the vessels, and producing an endarteritis obliterans and a rarefying osteitis. I have noticed a similar dystrophy in the little finger of an Indian. That the disease is inherited is proved by the fact that the father and brother of the patient, the condition of whose foot is illustrated herewith, suffered from the same condition, all ending in loss of the toe. The cause of this disease is unknown; but the theories that it is due to leprosy or self-mutilation are untenable. The condition resembles ground itch, except that in ground itch there is ulceration under every toe; in ainhum, under only one toe

The treatment consists of an incision