Updated: Jul 29, 2020
Patients often suffer far too long from an ingrown toe and typically come to see a doctor after trying to self-correct the issue on their own, typically causing increased pain, and possibly infection to the site. Many times, the patient attempts to correct the issue pushes the nail deeper and deeper into the skin to a point that they can no longer correct the problem and need to come see a doctor. Those days and, in some cases, weeks of torture could all be avoided.
To that end, ingrown toenails can be painlessly and easily removed permanently with a procedure called a matrixectomy. The procedure is called that because the matrix is the root of the toenail. In order to prevent the nail from re-growing the root or matrix must be removed or destroyed.
The procedure is fairly routine and involves a small injection to numb the site. The injection site is also numbed with liquid nitrogen to help the patient not even feel the needle, however, most of the injection feeling comes from the medicine that is injected. Some patients report a slight sting, as a result. Once numb, the ingrown toenail is then removed with a tiny blade. After removing the ingrown portion of the toenail, a chemical called Phenol is placed on a Q-tip and inserted in the crease where the nail was removed. The Phenol destroys the matrix or root cells of the nail in the offending corner. This prevents the ingrown toenail from reoccurring.
Following the procedure, post-op instructions are given to soak the foot in warm water and Epsom Salt for 15 minutes twice a day and cover with a bandage. Pain relief is almost immediate but there may be some drainage for about 7 to 10 days. Patients are able to resume regular activity and normal shoe gear by the next day.
For those patients who find themselves torturing themselves every few months digging out their ingrown toenails, this fix is a lifesaver. One of the most common things we hear from patients is their regret over not having this procedure done sooner. So, don’t wait and call us today to schedule an appointment before your next ingrown toenail gets out of control.