When conservative podiatric treatments are unable to resolve chronic or repeating ingrown nails, nail surgery may be recommended. Nail surgery (partial or full nail avulsion procedure) is a common procedure performed by most podiatrists to effectively treat an ingrown toenail.
What does a nail avulsion procedure involve?
Your podiatrist 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.
Either sides or the entire nail may be removed during the procedure depending on what is required. This will be discussed with you prior to commencement of the procedure. A chemical is used once the area of nail has been removed to assist in preventing nail regrowth.
Once the procedure is completed a sterile surgical dressing is applied. The patient is able to walk immediately afterwards, however assistance getting home is strongly recommended.
What happens after the procedure?
Re-dressings at home and a few consultations with your podiatrist 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.
What are the potential complications?
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 podiatrist will advice and assist with your situation.
Nail Bracing is useful for treatment of involuted (curled shaped) toenails. Nail Bracing is a conservative treatment available to patients for prevention of ingrown or painful toenails.
This technique is indicated for use in numerous nail deformities including:
- Ingrown toenails
- Nail deformities in high risk patients such as diabetics to avoid surgical procedures
- Abnormally curved toenails
- Mal-growing toenails after accidental loss or hereditary reasons
- Corns in the nail fold
- Inflammation in the nail fold (paronychia)
The advantages of nail bracing are that it is less invasive and does not involve any bleeding; no time off from work or school is required; and there is generally no discomfort while wearing the brace.