All of the practitioners at The Podiatry Clinic specialise in the surgical correction of infected and deformed ingrown toenails
though we have recently retired from practicing corrective bone and joint procedures such as those used to correct hammer toes and bunions.
Infected ingrown toe nails caused by inappropriate self treatment or trauma are common occurrences. Often the congenital (inherited) shape and texture of a toe nail can result in the nail margins eventually irritating the skin of the nail grooves they are troublesome and very quickly can become chronically inflamed and impossible to manage by ones self.
Success in palliative (routine clinical) treatment depends largely upon how long the problem has existed. The more chronic they become the more likely they require surgical intervention. Early treatment treatment is therefore encouraged if surgical management is to be avoided.
Often in chronic cases surgical treatment is unavoidable and the only long term solution to what can otherwise be a lifetime of recurrent infection and chronic discomfort. Recurrent chronic infections, if uncontrolled, can lead to more severe symptoms involving the bone beneath the toe nail which can become infected (osteomyelitis). This condition is very severe sometimes with an outcome of dire consequences.
PARTIAL/TOTAL NAIL MATRIX ABLATION
With a success rate of over 98% the surgical technique of choice for ingrown toenail surgery at The Podiatry Clinic is the permanent removal of the toe nail margins (or total nail plate) under local anaesthetic utilising a strong chemical called Phenol. When applied to the exposed nail bed and the soft structures of the nail root the Phenol removes the cells which form the small section of nail root and nail bed corresponding to the small sections of nail which have been removed. The application of phenol means that the removed sections of nail will never regrow thus resulting in correction of the ingrown/deformed edges of the toe nail.
A couple of bonuses associated with this procedure are that it can safely be performed on infected toenails as the phenol is highly antibacterial in its action and the other +ive is that the phenol application causes prolonged analgesia to the operation site. The end result being that in most cases only mild discomfort is experienced post operatively once the local anaesthetic has worn off.
Patients leave the clinic ambulating and usually wearing open sandals/jandals as large dressings are employed to absorb bleeding and also offer some protection. The first follow-up dressing usually takes place 3 days post operatively and after assessing that all is well the patient usually self dresses the toe/s over the following 3 weeks or so after which they return for a final follow up & discharge.
We maintain the strictest principles of sterile procedure in our surgical facility, with all instrument sets guaranteed to be sterilised for every surgical patient. The same principles are employed at the start of all general clinical appointments and treatments too.