Ainhum

Below you will find more information about Ainhum from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Ainhum it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Ainhum and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Ainhum comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Ainhum is a disease characterized by painful constriction of the fifth toe. This generally leads to amputation after a few years. Ainhum is more common among black African descents. It is commonly found among the blacks in West Africa, India and South America. The first recorded incidence of the disease is in 1867 by J.F. da Silva Lima. He described the disease suffered by one of the tribes in Brazil, the Nagos, who gave the disease its name. It is very rare in Europe and only a few incidences have been reported. It is also more common among those in between 20 and 50 years of age, with the average in 38 years of age. The youngest patient in record to have Ainhum is seven years old. The cause of the disease is still being studied. At present though, scientists have found that it is not caused by fungi, virus, parasite, bacteria and injury. Although it linked with walking barefoot during childhood, the disease is also found among those who have not gone barefoot. Among all the predisposing factors, race has been found to be on top of the list and thus scientists believe that it has some genetic component. Scientists believe that the disease is caused by the abnormal blood supply on the foot. Angiography of the peripheral limb has shown that the tibial artery may have become attenuated at the ankle and that there is noticeable absence of the plantar arch and branches. There are four stages of ainhum: the Grade I, wherein there is the presence of the groove; Grade II, wherein the floor of the groove is ulcerated; Grade III, wherein the bone is involved; and Grade IV wherein autoamputation occurs. In about 78% of the cases there is the presence of pain. For those in the early stage the pain may be slight and may have been caused by the pressure on the nerves. For those in the advanced stage, the pain is quite severe which is caused by chronic sepsis or fracture of the phalanx. Ainhum is commonly confused with diabetic gangrene, scleroderma, leprosy, Vohwinkle syndrome and leprosy. The pain is the symptom of the ainhum and it is a progressive condition. For the treatment of the ainhum, for the Grade I and II excision of the groove and z-plasty has been proven to relieve pain and prevent autoamputation. For the Grade III disarticulating the metatarsophanlangeal joint has been proven to be as effective.

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