Ainhum Treatment & Management

Updated: May 02, 2017
  • Author: Jeannette Rachel Jakus, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Approach Considerations

No current treatment appears to halt the progression of ainhum.


Medical Care

Therapy for ainhum in the early stages involves topical or injectable corticosteroids, salicylate preparations, or retinoids. Pseudoainhum may respond to treatment with etretinate. Reversal of pseudoainhum with acitretin has been described in a patient with associated Vohwinkel syndrome. [20] A literature review on pseudoainhum can be found in the International Journal of Dermatology. [21]


Surgical Care

Surgical treatment for grade I and early grade II ainhum is a Z-plasty, which involves releasing the constricting base through a Z-shaped repair after surgical amputation. [22] For grade III, amputation is generally necessary. The definitive treatment for late-stage ainhum may be surgical amputation (if not autoamputation).

In the early stages of ainhum, division of the fibrous band has been reported to reduce pain.

In pseudoainhum, congenital bands rarely need treatment other than surgery.