The name ainhum is described in "Manson's Tropical Medicine" as being derived from the Nago dialect, meaning "to saw or cut."
The condition consists in the formation of a constricting ring involving a part of or the entire circumference of the fifth toe, at or near its base. This furrow deepens, eventual spontaneous amputation of the portion distal to the constriction resulting.
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Ainhum was described clinically by Clark in 1860 as occurring in natives of the African gold coast, but the name ainhum was introduced in 1867 by da Silva Lima.The majority of cases are reported from Africa, India and Brazil (Crawford, Duhring, Pyle, Matas, Herrick, Abbe). Although the disease occurs most frequently in African Negroes and Hindus, cases have been recorded in Arabs and Chinese.It is of rare occurrence in the white race; cases have been reported by Aubry, De Brun,
HORWITZ MT, TUNICK I. AINHUMREPORT OF SIX CASES IN NEW YORK. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1937;36(5):1058–1063. doi:10.1001/archderm.1937.01480050124018
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