Ingrown Toenail

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Ingrown Nail surgery

Ingrown toenails are a common condition that can cause significant pain and discomfort. When conservative treatments fail, ingrown toenail surgery may be necessary to resolve the problem. Performed by a skilled podiatrist, this procedure can relieve pain, prevent further complications, and get you back on your feet. 

When Is Surgery Necessary?

You might need ingrown toenail surgery if you experience severe discomfort, swelling, redness, and infection that doesn’t subside with treatments like soaking the foot, wearing proper footwear, or taking antibiotics. In cases where an ingrown toenail recurs despite conservative measures, a podiatrist may suggest surgery as a permanent solution.

Often people  put off having this treatment because of what the title implies. Unlike nail surgery performed by a surgeon (Nail wedge resection) our in rooms procedure is less invasive and has minimal post operative discomfort (if any at all).

Ingrown Nail surgery
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Types of Ingrown Toenail Surgery

There are mainly two types of ingrown toenail surgeries:

  • Partial Nail Avulsion: The most common surgical treatment for ingrown toenails. It involves removing the portion of the nail that is digging into the skin. After numbing the toe with a local anesthetic, the podiatrist carefully trims away the offending section of the nail. A sterile chemical is used on this part of the nail which will stop the regrowth of the offending piece of nail
  • Total Nail Avulsion: In more severe cases, the entire toenail may need to be removed. This procedure is similar to a partial avulsion but involves the removal of the whole nail. Your podiatrist may or may not apply the chemical depending on your nail shape and history. 
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Asked Questions

A ‘Partial Nail Avulsion’ (known as a PNA or nail root and matrix resection) is a minor nail procedure which aims to permanently treat ingrown toenails. The procedure is usually performed in rooms, takes around one hour and the patient is able to walk immediately afterwards.

Your foot expert  will conduct a complete assessment, taking a medical history, a list of any medications that have been prescribed for you as well as considering any other clinical factors that will determine whether or not this surgery is suited to you. An assessment will generally also include an examination of blood supply to the foot. The procedure itself is performed under local anaesthetic via injection into the toe to numb the area. The anaesthetic will wear off in about two hours.

Once numb, a tight elastic ring called a tourniquet is applied to the toe to control bleeding and the area is prepped to minimise the risk of infection. The offending portion of the nail is then gently lifted and trimmed away, generally without the toe being cut or stitched. Both sides or the entire nail may be removed this way. A chemical may also be used at this point to assist in preventing nail regrowth.

Once the procedure is completed, the tourniquet is removed and a sterile surgical dressing is applied. The patient is able to walk immediately afterwards, however assistance getting home is strongly recommended.

Re-dressings at home and a few consultations with your practitioner may be required over the two to three weeks following the procedure. For the first few days after the procedure pain relief, the use of open toed shoes and activity modification may be necessary, however interference with day to day activities is generally minimal.

As with any surgical procedure there is some risk of complication, however this procedure is known to be very safe and effective.

The most common side-effects are post-operative infection in the short term and the possibility of regrowth of the nail over time. The risks of infection can be minimised through good post-operative care and your practitioner will advice and assist with your situation.

Regular visits to your foot expert can manage and prevent ingrown toenails, alleviate pain, and help keep you on your feet and mobile.

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