Ingrown toenails are a very common and painful foot condition that can make it uncomfortable to wear shoes and may also inhibit your work, sport or other activities. If left untreated ingrown toenails can become infected which can be serious. When a nail becomes ingrown and there is repeated infection, toenail surgery may be required. Also known as PNA (or partial nail avulsion), this is a minor surgical procedure to relieve symptoms and prevent regrowth of a painful and/or infected ingrown toenail. We perform this surgery here at Health plus Chiropractic in Parramatta.
Firstly, the digit is anaesthetized with two small injections of local anaesthetic at the base of the toe. The offending piece of nail can then be surgically removed down to the base (beyond the cuticle) and lastly a substance called Phenol is applied to prevent regrowth of that nail edge. The whole procedure will take less than 20 minutes and full recovery can be expected within 4-6 weeks.
Don’t leave it too late! If you have an ingrown toenail, our Parramatta podiatrist Melissa is more than happy to assess your toenail/s and provide advice on management options to make you more comfortable and prevent infections or discuss toenail surgery.
An ingrown toenail is when the side of a nail grows into the skin causing pain, redness and swelling. If the nail penetrates the skin, this can lead to infection and the development of proud flesh.
The most commonly affected nail is that of the big toe. The main causative factor for ingrown toe nails is the shape of the nail – the amount of curvature and width. Other factors can lead to an ingrown toenail are poor trimming technique, previous trauma to the nail, a fleshy toe and tight footwear.
Treatment by the podiatrist generally involves removal of the offending piece of nail. The treatment provides fast relief of the associated pain and infection. It is important to note that ingrown toenails can be recurrent. If conservative treatment fails to manage the problem, then nail surgery should be considered as a permanent solution.
Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA) Surgery is completed in our clinic using local anaesthetic. and usually takes an hour. Once numb, a tight elastic ring called a tourniquet is applied to the toe to control bleeding. The offending portion of nail is then gently lifted and trimmed away, usually without the toe being cut or stitched. A section of the nail is removed and the exposed nail root is chemically cauterised using Phenol to where the nail grows from, preventing nail regrowth.
Once the procedure is completed, the tourniquet is removed and a sterile dressing is applied. The patient is able to walk immediately afterwards. The sterile dressing is removed by your podiatrist the next day, after which the patient is required to change the dressing daily. Consultation with your podiatrist is required at 2 week intervals after the procedure until the toe is healed.
Recovery is relatively quick (1-2 weeks) and the rate of re-occurance is very low.