Ingrowing Toenails and Nail Surgery
Ingrown toenails and deformed nails can be anything from uncomfortable in your shoes to painful and infected. This is one of the most common reasons people come to visit a podiatrist.
They are difficult to treat yourself and require professional advice and equipment to help your pain.
Within your consultation the podiatrist might discuss if you need further intervention with nail surgery. This is not the case with everyone, however some nails are unable to be solved without a local anaethetic. Nail surgery is indicated when conservative management fails.
Why Might You Need Nail Surgery?
The most common reason is an ingrown nail, this is when the side of the skin. This commonly effects the big toe nail and can become very sore and inflamed.
This is a fairly routine procedure completed by podiatrists.
There are two types of surgery: a partial nail avulsion and a full nail avulsion. This will be discussed with you in the appointment to decide what is best for your nail.
Before the surgery is carried out using local anaesthetic to numb the whole toe, this will stop you feeling any pain. Once we have removed the nail we will apply a chemical to the area to destroy the nail and prevent re growth. The procedure is extremely successful in most cases with the research documenting on a 5-10% chance of regrowth.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Will it hurt? The most uncomfortable part of the procedure is the injection. After the procedure there can be some discomfort but this is normally minimal.
- Will the nail grow back? In only 5-10% of people will the nail grow back. We use a chemical to destroy the cells at the base of the nail.
- Can I drive after the surgery? No, someone should be available to drive you home from the appointment. You will not have insurance due to having local anaesthetic in your toe.
- Can I go back to work/school? We recommend for the rest of the day that you rest with your foot elevated. You can return to work/school the following day. We do however recommend that you refrain from sporting activity for up to 3 weeks to allow adequate healing.
- How long does it take to heal? It will take a minimum of 6 weeks for the area to heal, this can be longer depending on your individual healing rate.