The KD Device is a new device developed for the treatment of pincer toenails and chronic ingrown toenails. Other treatments for ingrown toenails require permanent removal of a portion of the toenail with the use of chemicals to destroy the nail root (matrix). This procedure is called a matrixectomy. The procedure is safe and effective but the chemicals cause excessive drainage for up to 2 weeks and can result in a cosmetically unpleasing result if too much of the nail is removed.
The KD Device is a metal clip that looks like a large staple. The KD Device is placed over the nail and straightens out the nail. It is made of special memory metal alloy. This alloy is flexible and bends easily at low temperatures, less than 25 degrees C. Once applied to the nail, heat from the body causes the device to return to its original shape. In doing so it “unrolls” the toenail. By straightening out the nail the corners of the nail are pulled out of the tissues and corrects the ingrown toenail without having to destroy any of the toenail.
These devices are especially useful with a “pincer toenail”. A pincer toenail is a toenail that curls into the skin. In extreme cases the nail can curl up into a complete tube. Pincer toenails can be painful because the sides of the toenail dig into the sides of the toe causing pain and often cause ingrown toenails.
When a pincer toenail causes an ingrown toenail to develop they are especially tricky to treat with the conventional techniques such as a chemical matrixectomy. The reason for this is because the entire nail is curved and so much of the toenail border must be removed to alleviate pain that the patient is often left with a very narrow and unnatural looking toenail.
Unnatural looking narrow toenail
Notice how much toenail was removed to relieve pain from the ingrown toenail
The KD Device can straighten out the nail permanently, alleviating pain and resulting in a more natural looking nail. The procedure requires two small incisions on either side of the toe through which the nail root(matrix) is released from the underlying structures. These incisions are small enough to be closed with a single stitch. The KD Device is applied to the nail and left on for about 4 weeks. This give the nail root and other tissues under the nail time to realign and straighten out. The procedure takes about 15 minutes and can be done in a doctor’s office.