An Ingrown toenail is one of the most common conditions usually noticed in the big toenail. Athletes are the common sufferers from this condition. The primary reasons for the ingrown toenail problem are due to wearing improper shoe gears and frequent injuries with toenails. But what exactly is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail also is known as onychocryptosis or unguis incarnates is a painful condition in which the corners or sides of the toenail develop into the soft flesh as the surrounding skin. If you trim your nails too short especially on the side of the bigfoot, you are most likely to suffer from this condition. Although this is a problem of the big toenail, however, it can happen to any toenail. (1)
Is There A Surgery For Ingrown Toenail?
Surgical procedures are often carried out for the severe or returning condition of nail infection. It is usually done at the clinic or at your doctor’s office. This is a very minor procedure done in less than twenty minutes during which the patient will be put in a supine position under local anesthesia for the numbness of the foot. During this procedure, part of the toenail that is left ingrown will be removed. However, a few things will be carried out beforehand
- A preoperative x-ray is taken to ensure whether the infection has not spread to the bone beneath the nail
- The doctor will inject a local anesthetic to your toes so you do not encounter any pain during the course of the surgery. Also, it reduces the risk of neurovascular compromise.
- The affected toe is then prepared and draped for surgery
Then the ingrown toenail is surgically removed by draining the infection from the toe or slicing the ingrown skin developed on the side of the foot. During the surgery, a part of the nail is removed as part of a precaution because the infection will reconcile without the interference of the nail. In severe cases of nail infection where conventional methods of surgery have failed, doctors conduct the total destruction of the nail matrix.
With the advancement of technology, a lot of new surgeries are fast arising and found promising but they are still under study which does not require the alteration of the nail bed at all. (2)
Causes And Symptoms Of Ingrown Toenail
Ingrown toenail problem is often accompanied by pain and tenderness in your toe along the sides of the nail. The typical symptoms are redness, swelling, and pain.
However, when it becomes infected with fungus, you can visibly see the infection of the tissue around the toenail.
- Your toenail could be infected due to one of these reasons
- You might have cut your nails too short or you would have cut the cuticle around the nail
- When the edges or corners of the nail grow into the skin on the foot of the nail.
- Wearing very tight shoes that put the pressure on your big toes
What You Should Do When You Have An Ingrown Toenail?
When you are experiencing this condition, you should immediately visit the doctor to get treated. Failure to treat an infected ingrown toenail can certainly affect the bones beneath the nail. In the worst-case scenario, it can also enter the bloodstream and result in gangrene or flesh-eating disorder.
- When there is an infection, surgical removal of either part of the nail or the whole nail is generally recommended and is the most followed approach by the practitioners.
- Although mild conditions can be treated at home, severe cases of toenail infection may require surgery.
- It is a simple incision yet the extent of the surgery might vary depending on the severity of the problem. (2)
When professional treatment is carried out for an ingrown toenail, the prognosis is pretty good particularly when the problem does not get resolved by itself. Complications with regard to ingrown toenail surgery are very rare. After a couple of days of rest, you can resume your routine.