The Relief of Ingrown Toenail Surgery

Published On: June 26, 2024

Ingrown toenails, medically known as onychocryptosis, can cause significant pain and discomfort, often becoming red, swollen, and infected. When conservative treatments fail, or the ingrown is severe or chronic, your chiropodist may recommend a minor surgical procedure to correct the problem.

Understanding Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail occurs when the side or corner of the nail grows into the surrounding skin. Common causes include improper nail trimming, tight footwear, trauma, and genetic factors. Symptoms may range from mild discomfort to severe pain and infection. 

The Surgical Procedure

Ingrown toenail surgery is a straightforward procedure performed under local anesthesia. The goal is to remove the offending portion of the nail or the entire nail matrix, preventing future occurrences.

  1.  Pre-surgery Preparation: Before surgery, the toe is cleaned and disinfected. A local anesthetic is then administered to numb the toe, ensuring a pain-free experience during the procedure.
  2.  Nail Removal: There are two primary types of surgery:
    1.  Partial Nail Avulsion: Only the ingrown section of the nail is removed. The underlying nail bed and matrix may be treated with a chemical such as phenol to prevent regrowth.
    2.  Total Nail Avulsion: The entire nail is removed in more severe cases. This might be necessary if the nail is extensively damaged or infected.
  3.  Aftercare: Post-surgery, the toe is bandaged, and patients are advised to keep it elevated and clean. Pain can usually be managed with over-the-counter painkillers. Most patients can return to normal activities within a few days, although full recovery might take a few weeks.

Benefits and Considerations

Ingrown toenail surgery offers pain relief and reduces the risk of recurrent infections. However, following post-operative care instructions carefully is essential to avoid complications. In rare cases, the nail may regrow or become infected, which is something we are always prepared to continue treating. 

Surgery by a qualified chiropodist can be a highly effective solution for those suffering from chronic or infected ingrown toenails. By addressing the root of the problem, patients can return to their daily activities with comfort and ease. If you’re experiencing persistent pain or signs of infection, consult a chiropodist to explore conservative and surgical options. 

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