THERE occur in the medical literature descriptions of the pathological entity called ``ainhum.'' Among the sporadic reports of this condition rare cases were described which were associated with diverse pathological syndromes.
True ainhum is a distinct condition. This strange word originates from the African term meaning "to saw.''1 It affects almost without exception the little toes of some adult Negroes. It is characterized by an initial grooved plantar callus which gradually encircles the affected toe, forming a sclerosing band that deepens and strangulates the digit with ultimate spontaneous amputation within 3 to 10 years.
Ainhum-like syndromes which are attributable to scleroderma,2 trophoneurosis,3 pityriasis rubra pilaris,4 palmar and plantar keratoses,5 syphilis,6 leprosy,7 cicatrices,8 metabolic diseases,9 syringomyelia, peripheral neuritis,10 parasites,11 keratoderma hereditaria mutilans,12 ancylostomiasis,13 a family disease,14 and congenital anomaly,15 as well as the result of known etiological factors, such as mechanical or thermal trauma or self-induced
NEUMANN A. PSEUDOAINHUM: Report of Congenital Case Involving Several Fingers and Left Wrist. AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1953;68(4):421–427. doi:10.1001/archderm.1953.01540100061010
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