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Keywords:

  • ainhum;
  • digit amputation;
  • morior;
  • pseudo-ainhum

Abstract

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.