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Ingrown Toenail Surgery

Anyone who has ever suffered with an ingrown toenail can tell you how awful and painful they can be. Unfortunately for some people, their nails can become ingrown repeatedly leading to an ongoing cycle of pain and discomfort. If the nail is recurrently ingrown, we can perform a toenail surgery known as a partial nail avulsion (PNA) with phenolisation. This procedure involves the removal of the edge of the nail permanently, stopping the nail from becoming ingrown again.


Painful Ingrown Nail

Why Does The Nail Continue To Become Ingrown?


In our previous blog, we discussed some of the reasons nails can initially become ingrown. The reasons they continue to be ingrown include:

  • Improper removal of the original ingrown nail: If the original ingrown nail edge is not properly removed and the edge smoothed, it may keep a sharp edge which leads to another ingrown nail.

  • Ill-fitting footwear: Shoes that are too tight can squash the toes, pushing the skin and nails close together and increasing the risk of nails becoming ingrown.

  • Toenails which are too wide for the nail bed: This occurs regularly and is due to genetics. The nail may sit too wide for the nail bed resulting in continuing pressure and recurrent ingrown nails.

  • Previous trauma leading to an altered nail shape: Trauma can result in nails thickening, lifting or even curling. This can cause the nail to become repeatedly ingrown even after an initial ingrown nail is removed.

How Can We Help?


At My Family Podiatry, we will initially try conservative treatment methods to remove the ingrown nail and attempt to grow the nail out. If these are unsuccessful, a partial nail avulsion is the most effective treatment for preventing ingrown nails returning. The procedure is quite simple and you will be back in enclosed shoes within 1-2 days.


The procedure involves numbing the affected toe with a local anaesthetic. After the toe is numb, the problematic edge of nail is removed including the nail matrix (the area the nail grows from at the base). A chemical called phenol is then applied to ensure the nail edge does not grow back. After a tidy up, the toe will be bandaged, you will be given your care instructions and you can head home to put your foot up for the evening. Typically no more than a couple of paracetamol are required for pain relief following this procedure.


Typically patients are back to work one to two days after the procedure (depending on the nature of their work) and children can return to school the next day. With a 94% success rate, a PNA with phenolisation offers an excellent solution for those who have been suffering with recurrent ingrown toenails.


At My Family Podiatry, we specialise in feet and the lower limb. With a wealth of experience in performing toenail surgeries, let us stop the pain you’ve been dealing with for too long. Call 07 3088 6116 or use our contact form and one of our team will get in touch to discuss a more permanent treatment for your ingrown toenails.




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