When Surgery is Necessary for Painful Ingrown Toenails
Sometimes a small problem becomes serious. When a toe is involved, even a little bit of pain can be extremely distracting, frustrating and uncomfortable. A toe problem can cause you to be sidelined indefinitely if you are active, and make it difficult to wear shoes or even stand and walk. We know it isn’t easy for your life to be put on hold because of foot pain.
An ingrown toenail is one condition that can develop and worsen over time. This common toenail problem, which is characterized by the side of the toenail curving and growing into the skin and tissue surrounding the nail, often starts out minor in nature. Without the proper attention or treatment, it can become very painful, inflamed and possibly infected. In some cases, surgery is necessary for symptoms to be resolved and to prevent the ingrown nail from returning.
If you have a painful ingrown toenail, please contact Podiatrist Iain Palmer for diagnosis and treatment. We have many conservative treatment options that are effective, but if surgery is required we will walk you through each step of the process. Call us today for an appointment at (204) 697-0649.
Surgical intervention with an ingrown toenail is typically discussed when the patient is experiencing significant pain, infection, or difficulty walking or carrying out their daily activities. It can also be beneficial if you suffer from recurring ingrown toenails. During surgery, there are typically three options depending on the nature of your condition. We may opt to remove just part of the toenail, remove some of the underlying tissues as well, or permanently remove the entire toenail. Permanent removal is usually for those with a chronic, recurring problem.
All of our procedures are done at our office, and we strive to make this procedure as minimally invasive as possible. With a partial removal, we will use a local anesthetic to numb the toe, cut down the side of the nail that is affected and remove a sliver of the ingrown portion of the nail. We are very careful to not disturb the nail bed. A chemical may be used to prevent the nail that was removed from growing back. In severe cases, we will remove the entire nail and in time the toe will heal and the nail will grow back, which could take 4-6 months.
Generally, the procedure lasts about an hour. The initial anesthesia may cause a bit of discomfort, but you will not feel anything during the surgery except for slight pressure or a tugging sensation. After surgery, we will set you up for success with a comprehensive list of post-operative instructions. It is generally best to keep weight off the foot for the first day and elevate it when possible. Many return to work and school within a couple of days, but you may need to avoid vigorous activities for a couple of weeks. Wearing open-toed shoes or a style with a wide toe box is helpful to keep pressure off the affected toe. Complete healing usually takes two to three weeks with the right post-operative care.
We understand surgery may sound scary, but if you have a painful, infected toe from an ingrown toenail, or a case that keeps coming back, surgery may provide relief once and for all. Contact Podiatrist Iain Palmer with any questions or to schedule an appointment. Don’t wait – call the Palmer Foot Clinic in Winnipeg at (204) 697-0649.