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IN GROWN TOENAIL SURGERY. Written by Emily Mildren, Podiatrist

Updated: Apr 15

A physiotherapist checking a patient's foot for pain

Ingrown toenails can be extremely painful and have the potential to become infected. At In Stride we can treat ingrown toenails safely in the clinic through conservative and surgical methods.

Partial nail avulsion (PNA) is a procedure conducted by a podiatrist that can be used in the treatment of ingrown toenails. A PNA can be a permanent solution for ingrown toenails when phenolisation is applied.

If you’re suffering from tenderness and pain from your toenails it could be a sign that the toenail is ingrown.

People who suffer from ingrown toenails can experience extreme pain, infection and formation of hyper granulation tissue (tissue growth over the nail). This can be a good indicator that a PNA may be the best form of treatment.

If you’re thinking about treating an ingrown toenail, or even tossing up whether or not to have the surgery, below is an explanation about with a PNA involves.

A PNA, in short, involves cutting a small portion of the toenail and apply a chemical that stops the nail from growing back.

We inject local anaesthetic into the toe making it numb and to ensure that the procedure will be painless. We then sterilise the toe with betadine and the toe is ready for the procedure.

With a tool we lift the nail from the nail bed, remember that the toe is numb and pain cannot be felt. Now that the nail is loose it is easily removed from the sulcus.

Because the procedure is a partial nail avulsion, only a portion of the nail is taken and we attempt to take the smallest amount possible while still effectively treating the ingrown toenail.

After the ingrown portion of the nail is extracted, the chemical phenol is packed into the sulcus and the cells that contribute to regrowth of the nail are eliminated.

This is the last step of the PNA procedure, all that is left the dressing which sterilises and protects the area to optimise healing potential.

Overtime, the nail and skin will heal to where it has the appearance of a ‘normal’ nail.

Here are some tips to do after a PNA to maximise healing:

· Remain off your feet as much as possible – you may need to organise time off work or school.

· You can resume normal activities the day after surgery, however avoid activities that could result in things/people stepping or being dropped on your toe.

· Don’t wear closed toe and tight shoes, the dressing will be bulky and we want to avoid anything pushing on the area after surgery.

At In Stride Health Clinic, we schedule a surgical review 3 days after the procedure where the surgical site is cleaned and re-dressed. From there we monitor the area until it is healed and you can go on living life ingrown and pain free.

A health practitioner from In Stride

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