In-growing toenails mainly affect the greater toe and can be caused by footwear, trauma, sporting activities or could be hereditary. These often can be treated during a routine appointment however, if the nail bed is damaged this results in the nail growing abnormally up the side of the toe, the skin may become broken by the nail which could result with an infection, the toe can swell and antibiotics may be required.
In-growing Toenails or Onychocryptosis
click image to enlarge
Some patients have this condition for years as the nail bed will never right itself, here treatment on a regular basis is required by cutting the nail back along the side, however this is not a permanent solution.
Severe pain, infection or repeated occurrence may require a minor surgical procedure which is performed under strict sterile conditions and with the aid of local anaesthetic. This procedure will cure the problem with patients comfortably walking out of the clinic.
Surgical procedure available
There are 3 main stages to remove in-growing toenails surgically:
- Firstly a small anaesthetic injection is given either side of the toe which is necessary to numb the area and is performed with a small dental needle. Sensation is checked to ensure complete loss of feeling temporarily. A small ring like tourniquet is then placed over the toe so that bleeding is minimal.
- Secondly, the offending side/sides of the nail are removed and a chemical called Liquefied Phenol is placed directly onto the nail bed and onto the cells that produce the offending piece of nail, this destroys these cells but only in this part of the nail bed so preventing this part of the nail from growing back.
- Thirdly, the tourniquet is removed and a dressing is put in place and the toe is bandaged.
Patients are asked to bring an open-ended toe shoe to accommodate the initial dressings which is left until 2-3 days later when it is removed by the Podiatrist at the first dressing appointment.
The whole procedure takes about 20 minutes and the patient can walk out. A day of rest after is recommended. A few weeks will pass where dressing appointments are given until the toe is completely healed.
It is important to note that most of the nail plate will remain with only the in- growing segment removed, however the nail plate will be narrower.
Partial Nail Removal (one side only)
Partial Nail Removal (both sides)
Total Nail Removal
“A few years ago, I was preparing for one last summer before university. I’d planned to spend as much time as possible going to festivals around the area, and I already had tickets to Latitude, Reading and several smaller ones around Norwich. Unfortunately, I gradually began to develop a pain in my right big-toe – a pain I initially hoped would subside if I left it, but it didn’t. It got to a point where even walking caused me pain, and I’d often remove my sock to find a fairly unpleasant stain of blood! Naturally I was quite worried that this would ruin all my plans for the summer.
After trying to stop the problem myself (by foolishly attacking the nail’s sides with clippers, which caused a lot of pain and not much good!) I realised I needed professional treatment if I was going to get things taken care of properly.
I was recommended Randell’s Footcare, and I quickly scheduled an appointment. Right from the get-go, they helped reassure me about exactly what the procedure would involve. It all went quite quickly, and I was told exactly how to treat my toe over the next few weeks. I had several follow-up appointments to make sure that everything was going okay, and there weren’t any additional problems. I ended up having a great summer, and two years later my toe is still in tip-top shape; I haven’t had a single problem with it since I went to Randell’s.
I’d be very happy to recommend them to anybody. They’re informed, professional and genuinely care about their clients feeling comfortable and assured. Thanks again!”
J Burnham ~ York
“It is now three months since I finally plucked up courage to have the operation on my in-growing toenails and how I wish I had done it sooner!
Bless you both and thank you for all your skill and kindness on the day and for the expert aftercare I recieved until the toes healed.
It is wonderful to have no pain or discomfort now. Thank you.”
Barbara Ayre ~ Trunch
“I have had pain for about ten years on both my big toenails. Randell’s Footcare removed the nails which was painless and extremely professional. I have had no pain since the operation and I would recommend this procedure.”
Mrs V Burtenshaw ~ Sheringham
“I am so grateful to you for the caring and professionalism you have offerd me following the procedure to remove the ingrowing toenail side of my big toe. From the skilled and expert surgery through to the amazing aftercare I am continually impressed by the attitude you both take to your patients. I cannot thank you enough for your excellent care and for the relief I now feel at the successful outcome.”
Claire Cunningham ~ Coltishall
“I am writing to say that I am very satisfied with the work carried out on my ingrowing toenail. When I came in with the problem you diagnosed it quickly and the subsequent operation was carried out promptly, the aftercare treatment was very satisfactory. It is so nice not to have a painful toe anymore and I must also say that throughout the operation and subsequently I have felt no pain whatsoever.”
Dennis Mynard ~ Sheringham
“Thank you for responding quickly when I informed you that I had an ingrowing toenail. I was a bit nervous of the procedure having had it done before elsewhere on my other big toe. However I was pleasantly surprised that I experienced very little pain either during or after the anaesthetic had worn off. The aftercare was very good with practical advice given. Now here we are two months later with a completely healed and painless big toe on which the nail will never grow again. A very satisfied patient.”
Mr I Scott ~ North Walsham
“My toe had been causing me pain for 18-24 months, however I’d been too worried about limping about for months after the operation that I’d put off getting anything done about it. I finally contacted Randell’s Footcare who booked me in straight away. To my surprise I found I was playing sports five weeks after the operation. Apart from the day after the entire process was pain free. If you have the same problem with your toe(s) as I had, I highly recommend the operation.”
Stephan Battrick-Newell ~ Beeston Regis