An ingrown toenail is a very common problem that can be particularly painful. We see this concern daily in our clinic. It is caused by a portion of the nail that forms a spike or a hook that pushes into the skin. If left untreated, an infection can occur. Often these issues are re-occurring. A course of antibiotics may help in the short-term but wont resolve an ongoing issue.
Your Chiropodist can assess your ingrown toenail and discuss the best management plan for you. Causes of ingrown toenails
• Wide nail
• Curved nail
• Nail deformity
• Improper cutting technique
This procedure is performed under local anesthetic. It involves the permanent removal of a partial (Partial Nail Avulsion) or total (Total Nail Avulsion) toenail. The nail root is then treated with a chemical called phenol to prevent re-growth of the nail.
Typically patients are concerned about healing time or whether this is a painful procedure. The Chiropodist will answer all your questions prior to the procedure. Below are some commonly asked questions.
Q: Are ingrown toenails common?
A: Yes they are very common. Often footwear plays a role and we see people with them in the fall and winter when switching to tighter/ more constricting footwear. We also see a lot of people who have a family history, develop ingrown toenails.
Q: Is it common to have an ingrown toenail surgery?
A: Yes. This treatment is often recommended and the treatment of choice for many of our clients as it provides a permanent solution to the ingrown toenail.
Q: Is the procedure painful?
A: There is some pain associated with the injection similar to what you would experience with freezing at the dentist. Once the freezing is complete, you will not feel anything for the duration of the procedure. After the freezing wears off there can be some soreness for a couple days. Usually no more than the medication for a common headache would be required for relief.
Q: What if my toe becomes infected?
A: We often see patients who already have an infection due to the ingrown toenail. Typically this will resolve after the surgery when the offending nail is removed. In some cases an oral antibiotic is needed. Your Chiropodist can prescribe this.
Q: How long does healing take?
A: Healing typically takes 4-6 weeks. However most people find they can resume most activities and return to work the very next day. You will have 2-3 follow-up appointments to ensure the toe is healing adequately.
Q: Do I need a Doctor’s referral?
A: No A referral is not required. This procedure is not covered by OHIP but is often covered by your extended health benefits plan.