Nail Surgery for Painful Ingrown Nails

Ingrown nails result from the toenail being driven into the toe by shoes (or boots) that are too tight. They occur most frequently alongside the big toe. The nail cuts into the side of the toe, creating a shooting pain as it puts pressure on the nerves. Ingrown toenails may also be caused by injury, fungal infection, psoriasis, heredity, or poor foot structure. Learn more about ingrown toenails.

Why is ingrown nail surgery sometimes necessary?

  • Chronic ingrown nails can lead to health issues, particularly if an infection is present. These complications can become serious, especially in people with diabetes, circulatory issues, or immunity problems.
  • In these cases, the chiropodist may remove a portion or all of the offending nail(s) to alleviate the pain, infection, and potential for other issues.

What are some of the potential complications of untreated ingrown nails?

  • Infection, if present, may spread to the foot, leg, or into the bloodstream.
  • The nail plate may be lost or damaged from infection or inflammation.
  • Chronic ingrown nails can cause deformity of the nail plate and/or surrounding soft tissues.
  • A small benign tumour called a granuloma can form along the nail margin.

What happens at an ingrown nail surgery?

  • Ingrown nail surgery is painless, as the toe is “put to sleep” using a local anaesthetic.
  • A chemical is applied during the procedure to ensure that the nail’s ingrowing part does not grow back.
  • Post-operative discomfort is also minimal, and any discomfort is usually treated with over-the-counter pain medicine.
  • The wound heals completely in four to six weeks. During this time, it is dressed with a bandage. Some cases may require a topical or oral antibiotic.
  • After healing, the nail is normal in appearance but just a little more narrow than before (unless your chiropodist recommends removing the entire nail)

If you are curious about the in’s and out’s of nail surgery, watch the time-lapse video showing our chiropodist, J. Richard Werkman, performing nail surgery at our clinic.

WARNING: Video contains graphic content

When it’s time to look for a permanent solution to your persistent ingrown toenails, look no further than our Oakville Foot & Orthotic Clinic.

Richard Werkman and Kaitlin Boven are Licensed for Nail Surgery, Local Anesthesia, and Injections to the foot.

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