Why do I need Nail Surgery?
If you have an ingrown toenail or a painful nail that is excessively curved or thickened, you may benefit from nail surgery. What is Nail Surgery? Nail Surgery can be the removal of a small part of the toenail (partial nail avulsion). This procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic, so the surgery is not painful. Normally the nail bed is destroyed to prevent the nail regrowing and causing further problems. You will not need to have any stitches in your toe. You can walk normally after surgery, but will need to organise a lift home. You cannot drive with a numb toe.
How long will my toe take to heal after surgery?
On average it takes between 4 and 5 weeks for the wound to heal. During this time you will need to keep the toe clean and covered to help prevent infection. You will attend the clinic for your first redressing 2-5 days after surgery. Other redressing appointments will be arranged as
What will my toe look like after surgery?
With a partial nail avulsion your toenail will be narrower than it was, but every attempt will be made to ensure that your toe looks as normal as possible after surgery. With a total nail avulsion, your toenail will not grow again. If you are concerned about the possible appearance of your toe after surgery, please discuss this with your Podiatrist.
What complications can occur with nail surgery?
The success of this type of nail surgery is very good. In about 5%-7% of cases some of the nail can regrow and this may require further surgery. Infection can occur following surgery in about 10% of cases and you may need to take a short course of antibiotics. The risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is extremely low, but if you have had a previous DVT please inform your Podiatrist.
How can I prevent ingrowing toenails?
Ingrown toenails can be caused by poor nail cutting or by picking toenails. They can also occur after an injury to the toe or from wearing tight fitting shoes. If the foot collapses excessively additional pressure is placed on the toe, this can cause the nail to grow into the skin. If this is the cause, Orthotics may be recommended. To prevent ingrown toenails:
-Cut your toenails straight across and do not cut down the side of the nail.
-File any sharp corners of the toenail.
-Avoid wearing shoes or boots with narrow, pointed toes.
-Do not ignore a painful toenail as they can quickly become infected.
–Visit a Podiatrist for advice and treatment.