Destructive deformation of the digits with auto-amputation: A review of pseudo-ainhum

R. M. Rashid*, E. Cowan, S. A. Abbasi, J. Brieva, M. Alam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Pseudo-ainhum is an auto-amputation of the digits. Although extremely rare, it is a traumatic and painful experience that can be alleviated with early recognition and intervention. The scientific literature is filled with reports of this interesting but unfortunate phenomenon. To date, a firm causative aetiology has not yet been established. Although reports on this phenomenon have attempted to further our understanding of pseudo-ainhum, a clear understanding has been complicated by the interchangeable use of terms describing this auto-amputation. In this review, we discuss the current understanding, diagnostic criteria, and management of pseudo-ainhum. Furthermore, the nomenclature of pseudo-ainhum is clarified. Ideally, this will allow for more efficient exploration of pseudo-ainhum, its causes, and therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)732-737
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Ainhum
  • Digitamputation
  • Morior
  • Pseudo-ainhum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Dermatology


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