Partial Nail Avulsion

Partial Nail Avulsion

What is Partial Nail Avulsion?

Partial nail avulsion is a procedure that involves removing a portion of the toenail from its nail root. The technique is designed to treat ingrown toenails by removing the entire nail edge that is cutting into the sides of the skin.

Several methods of partial nail avulsion are performed, some of which, especially the traditional techniques, can be very invasive and often done in an operating theatre. At Straits Podiatry, a partial nail avulsion can be easily performed in the clinic using a minimally invasive method within 30 minutes.

Partial Nail Avulsion at Straits Podiatry

The Proven Long-Term Solution to Ingrown Toenail

Many patients suffer repeated episodes of ingrown toenails despite having their nails treated or removed before. This is because the underlying nail root is still functional, and the nail continues to grow. It is important to understand that a partial nail avulsion alone does not prevent the nail from growing back.

The only proven long-term solution to recurrent ingrown toenails is to apply a chemical to destroy the nail root completely following a partial nail avulsion. This complete procedure is known as partial nail avulsion with chemical maxtrixectomy. This has proved to be highly effective with low recurrence rates.

No Stitches, No Hospitalisation

Yes, this is true. Unlike the traditional methods where the skin at the sides of the nail is cut open and stitched after, leaving behind a highly noticeable scar and deformed nail, a partial nail avulsion with chemical matrixectomy requires none of those. The procedure is also painless as local anaesthesia will be used.

The procedure is carried out as follows:

  • Local anaesthetic is injected to numb the affected toe only
  • The portion of the nail that is cutting into the sides of the skin is resected down to the nail root and is performed without cutting the skin
  • The resected portion of the nail is removed, and a chemical is applied to destroy the nail root
  • The chemical will be neutralized, and a sterile dressing will be applied to the toe

 

You might be wondering, “wouldn’t there be a gap between the remaining nail and the skin?”. Yes, that is correct. However, this is the same as a wisdom tooth extraction, the gap will close once the wound has healed.

Recovery

The expected recovery for partial nail avulsion with chemical matrixectomy is between 2 to 4 weeks and is highly dependent on the age and health of the individual. Physical activity should be avoided following the procedure until otherwise advised.

Your podiatrist will also advise you on the management of the wound and suitable footwear options following the procedure. Generally, open-toed footwear is preferred to ensure minimal compression over the wound.

When Should Partial Nail Avulsion Be Avoided?

It is advisable for individuals suffering from recurrent ingrown toenails to undergo the procedure when they are young and healthy as there are conditions where this procedure should be avoided.

Partial nail avulsion with chemical matrixectomy should be avoided if you have:

  • Diabetes with diabetic foot complications (Neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease, diabetic foot ulcers)
  • History of poor wound healing
  • Bleeding disorders (e.g Hemophilia, warfarin, blood thinners)
  • Poor circulation to the foot

 

Your podiatrist should assess the above to ensure that you are a suitable candidate prior to performing the procedure.

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