Ingrown toenails are fairly common. They are usually caused by cutting the nails at an angle or wearing shoes that are too tight. However, there are a certain number of people who suffer with constant ingrown nails due to the way the toenail is shaped. If you seem to have one ingrown nail after another and you're careful about trimming your nails properly and not crowding your toes with tight shoes, then you should see a podiatrist like Greenberg Paul about your condition. The solution might be to have your toenail removed. Here is a little more information about this procedure.
When Toenail Removal Is Necessary
If this is your first ingrown nail, you probably won't have your entire nail removed. If you're in a lot of pain, the podiatrist may cut the corner of the nail out of your flesh so the nail can grow out properly. If the nail has a bad infection, the podiatrist may determine it's necessary to remove the entire nail. However, toenail removal surgery is most often done for cases where the nail is shaped in such a way that it grows into the skin and gives you chronic pain and infections. If you're tired of suffering with constant ingrown nails, then removing the entire nail can bring the relief you seek.
How The Procedure Is Performed
The podiatrist can remove your toenail right in the office with a quick procedure. Your toe is numbed first with an anesthetic injection. Then, the nail is cut along its length with a nail splitter. This makes it easy for the podiatrist to grasp the nail with surgical instruments and pull it out of the nail bed. The doctor may not even need to cut into your flesh. This makes recovery from the procedure quick and less painful. After the nail is pulled out, the doctor disinfects the area and applies a bandage. Your podiatrist may remove the nail only, or he or she may also perform a procedure that keeps your nail from growing back. This involves applying a chemical or laser treatment to the nail matrix that damages it so it won't produce a new nail. If this additional treatment is not applied, you may grow a new nail in several months.
What To Expect After Your Toenail Is Removed
Although toenail removal may sound painful, you should have very little discomfort after the procedure is done. There might be some throbbing in your toe for a day or two, and you'll probably have drainage for a few days. Your podiatrist may advise you to keep your foot elevated to help reduce swelling and prevent pain. You'll have to wear a bandage and apply antibiotic ointment to the area as prescribed by your podiatrist, but you'll be able to wear shoes right away and resume your usual activities in a couple of weeks. Recovery from toenail removal surgery is quick and with the nail gone, you'll be free from pain once healing is underway.