Painful ingrown toenails can develop due to nail shape, poor cutting technique, infection or trauma to the nail. An nail becomes ingrown when the edge of the nail pierces the skin. The area becomes inflamed, swollen and can become infected.
Our Podiatrists can provide relief by skilfully removing the sharp piece of nail with appropriate instruments. In cases where the nail is chronically ingrown or keeps reoccurring, nail surgery is needed.
A Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA) is a minor nail surgery procedure that permanently removes a section of nail plate. Basic steps to this procedure are
Local anaesthetic is administered so the procedure is pain free
In a sterile environment, the offending section of nail is removed and the nail matrix/root is prevented from regrowing using a chemical technique called phenolisaton.
No sutures (stitches) are required, and therefore in most cases minimal pain is experienced after the procedure.
The patient will be required to return for a couple of dressing changes , normally 3 days post-op and then at one week.
Healing time is rapid, with full recovery usually within 2-3 weeks. Closed footwear should be avoided on the day of the surgery, but there are few other side effects. Most people can return to work the following day.
In most cases, we only need to remove one edge of the nail. Once the toe is healed the toenail simply looks slightly narrower, and it can be difficult to tell that there has been any surgery.
In more severe cases, where the nail is severely deformed and causing pain on both edges of the toe, we may recommend a Total Nail Avulsion (TNA) removing the entire toenail to achieve the best result.