Ingrown toenails are one of the most common problems seen by foot surgeons in Perth, and they often present following extensive failed conservative treatment. At the first sign of an ingrown toenail, you may think your best port of call is your general practitioner or local podiatrist, however foot specialists, also known as podiatric surgeons, have extensive knowledge and training in diagnosing, treating and managing associated infection of ingrown toenails.
What is an Ingrown Toenail?
An ingrown toenail is a painful condition of the skin/nail most commonly affecting the big toes. They can be present with or without associated infection and can affect one or both of the big toes, and sometimes even the lesser toes. Ingrown toenails can occur at any stage of life as a result of many causes including; improper nail cutting technique, tight fitting footwear, trauma, anatomical factors such as thickening of the nail plate, pincer shaped toenail, and pressure from abutting toes caused by bunions, hammertoe deformities, or bony spurs underneath the toenail.
When is Surgery Necessary?
Surgery to treat ingrown toenails is indicated in patients where conservative podiatrist care proves unsatisfactory, or a recurrent problem is experienced. The aim of surgery is to correct the underlying nail deformity, reduce associated pain and
prevent further infection. There are two common nail surgery techniques performed by podiatric surgeons, both of which have been shown to have a high degree of success and a low recurrence rate. The procedure recommended to you by your foot surgeon will take into account the degree of nail deformity, and any associated excessive tissue growth in the nail sulcus.
What can I Expect Prior to Surgery?
Your foot surgeon will initially take a thorough medical history and details about your problem, before examining the nail and surrounding skin. In some cases your foot function and biomechanics will also need to be assessed as a potential cause of the nail problem. Treatment options will be discussed with you, including both conservative management if applicable, antibiotic therapy if infection is present, and possible surgical management. Your surgeon will then discuss the proposed procedure with you, including options of anaesthesia, pain medication if required and how to care for your toe/s after surgery.
If ingrown toenails are causing you pain, embarrassment or shoe fitting problems call 9383 3851 today to see Dr Andrew Knox, Specialist Podiatric Surgeon, or book online here.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended for general information purposes only. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.