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Ingrown Toenail Surgery

Ingrown Toenail Surgery NYCAn ingrown toenail is a fairly common condition in which the corner of a toenail grows into the skin and surrounding tissue, resulting in inflammation, pain and even infection. While it can happen to any toe, it’s most common on the big one.

Ingrown toenails can often be successfully treated with home care. In severe cases, however, you may need a good podiatrist to relieve your pain and avoid further complications. Your foot doctor in NYC warns that if you have diabetes — or any disease that diminishes blood circulation to your feet — you’re more likely to incur severe symptoms and complications from an ingrown toenail.

All symptoms, potential procedural/surgical options should always be discussed with your podiatrist after a thorough consultation and examination  for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

The Anatomy of the Toe

Podiatrists in New York encounter ingrown toenails frequently. The actual toenail consists of both the visible portion and the root, which is covered by a section of skin known as the eponychium. Then there’s the cuticle.

Your toenail sits on top of the nail bed, and the nail walls are the portions of skin that encompass the sides of the nail to form the sterile matrix. The matrix itself is the layer of skin at the base of your toenail that generates the cells to form the nail. Armed with this knowledge, your NYC foot doctor can spot an ingrown toenail on sight. But there are circumstances that require further testing.

Causes of Ingrown Toenail

It’s important that your midtown NYC foot doctor discovers the cause of your problem before recommending any treatment, including surgery. The causes that can lead to an ingrown toenail include:

  • Incorrect toenail trimming: When toenails are cut too short or the edges are trimmed, the skin can push over the top of the nails, and the nails grow into the skin.
  • Poor fitting shoes: Wearing shoes that are too tight can increase the pressure on the skin around your nails. Your toenail can puncture your skin if pressed into the flesh for too long.
  • Physical damage: Stubbed toes can occasionally promote ingrown nails.
  • Foot perspiration: Feet inside of non-breathable shoes become moist with sweat, which causes the skin to soften and allows the toenail to more easily penetrate.
  • Nail shape: Curved nails tend to dig into the skin more often than square-shaped ones.
  • Nail infections: Fungal infections can widen toenails to the point where they pierce the flesh.

Home Care for Ingrown Toenails

If an ingrown toenail is untreated, it can become infected. Some simple ways to treat the condition, as suggested by NYC podiatrists, include:

  • Wear shoes that comfortably fit your foot.
  • Wash your feet regularly to keep them clean.
  • Cut your nails straight to prevent them from growing underneath adjacent skin.
  • Keep your feet dry by changing socks often.

Generally, a podiatric doctor recommends surgery only if your ingrown toenail doesn’t respond to proper home care. Removal of part or your entire toenail depends on the condition of your toenail.

Partial Nail Avulsion

The partial nail avulsion — the removal of part of the toenail — is a surgical procedure that’s very common for the treatment of ingrown toenails. A best rated foot doctor in NYC, Dr. Jennifer McCoy reported over 95 percent success rates with this common procedure.

Partial nail avulsions may be performed with only a local anesthetic to numb your toe, so the toenail edges can be trimmed safely and painlessly. Phenol is a chemical used to treat the area to impede nail regrowth in the same spot. Antibiotics are generally prescribed post-op to prevent infection while the pus drains out of the wound.

Total Nail Avulsion

As the name suggests, total nail avulsion is a process of completely removing your toenail. Podiatric doctor in NYC deem this procedure necessary if the nail is too thick as it digs into the surrounding flesh. You end up with an indentation where the nail used to be, but there’s no inherent danger in not having a toenail.

If your foot doctor in NYC believes your toenail will return in the same destructive manner, a partial or complete matrixectomy is indicated. This procedure entails the destruction of the nail matrix by several possible methods:

  • Matrixectomy can be accomplished by applying chemicals such as the aforementioned phenol or sodium hydroxide to the nail matrix.
  • Burning the matrix with electricity, a process called electrocautery ablation, or with laser equipment are also effective methods, although more expensive.

Complications from Ingrown Toenail Surgery

The simplicity of the surgery is such that complications are unusual. However, podiatrists report that partial regrowth of the toenail can happen after a failed matrixectomy.

Additionally, infections are possible after any type of surgery. It’s normal for you to suffer drainage and discomfort for up to a couple of weeks after the procedure while you’re recovering.

After Ingrown Toenail Surgery

After your surgery, you’re typically sent home with a bandaged toe. You’re instructed to keep your foot elevated for the next day or two. You may have to wear special footwear for a couple weeks to allow your toe to properly heal. Dr. Jennifer McCoy, a highest rated NYC foot doctor often recommends wearing open-toed shoes. Follow your podiatrist’s directions completely, which may include:

  • Wear the bandage for at least 24 hours following the procedure.
  • Soak your foot in warm water with Epsom salts for about 20 minutes once or twice per day.
  • After the soak, treat the toe with a topical antibacterial and a fresh Band-Aid.
  • Between the first and second week following the surgery, visit your foot doctor in New York City to verify that no infections have developed and to clean the wound.

Sleeping may be difficult due to a throbbing in your foot. You may be prescribed antibiotics and pain relief medicine, but over-the-counter pain relievers are often enough to keep your pain manageable while you heal. You should feel much better after just a few days and can return to normal activity within a couple of weeks.

If your entire toenail is removed, it does grow back. It usually takes a few months to grow back after a partial surgery. If the entire toenail was removed beneath the matrix (to the base of the nail), it may take a year for your toenail to completely grow back.

All symptoms, potential procedural/surgical options should always be discussed with your podiatrist after a thorough consultation and examination  for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult foot doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified podiatrist or foot specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Do you have any questions about Ingrown Toenail Surgery procedure in NYC? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, top NYC Podiatrist and foot doctor, Dr. Jennifer McCoy of Manhattan Foot Specialists, please contact our office for consultation.

Manhattan Foot Specialists
Dr. Jennifer McCoy, Podiatrist (NYC Foot Doctor)

51 East 25th Street, Ste 409
New York, NY 10010

(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
(212) 687-2930

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class podiatrist regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.