When do I need nail surgery?


nail surgery perth
If you struggle with pain of ingrown toenails, we can help you here at The Foot Clinic Perth. We will first assess why you have an ingrown toenail, and then find the most suitable treatment for you. Let’s take a closer look at ingrown nails and how we can help with either a more conservative non-surgical treatment, or if required then a more detailed nail surgery option.

symptoms of ingrown nails

How do I know I have ingrown nails?

If your toes are constantly sore, does that mean you have ingrown toenails? Or are there any other symptoms of ingrown toenails to watch out for?

Ingrown toenails: What are the symptoms of ingrown nails?

  • Pain at the edges of your toenail.
  • Redness.
  • Swelling.
  • Discharge coming from the sides of the toe.

There are many factors that can cause nail problems. The best place to begin is to have an experienced podiatrist assess the underlying causes of your nail problem. We can then provide an accurate diagnosis and also assess your overall foot health.

Podiatrist for nails: What causes ingrown toenails?

If you suffer with ingrown toenails, it means your hard toenail has grown into the soft skin around your toe. The area around your toe may look red and swollen, and can even become infected if left untreated. Ingrown toenails can be very painful and cause discomfort. It may be difficult to wear your favourite shoes and enjoy your daily life activities. That is why we recommend making a booking at the Foot Clinic to examine your feet so we can plan the right treatment for you.

As podiatrists, the typical causes we see for ingrown toenails that may require nail surgery are:

  • Improper nail cutting techniques
  • Trauma
  • Tight or ill-fitting footwear
  • Genetics
  • Medication such as Roaccutane
nail surgery perth

nail treatment perth

What are the treatment options for ingrown nails?

Depending on the stage and severity, your Podiatrist can treat ingrown toenails in a few different ways.

Podiatry for ingrown nails: Cutting out and taping

We can remove the offending nail spicule simply by cutting it out. This provides immediate relief but may not be a permanent solution. If the ingrown nail is not too severe, routine treatment to remove the nail can be performed. This can be combined with taping techniques to pull the nail fold away from the nail to allow it to grow out. Sometimes this is enough particularly for early-stage ingrown nails, particularly following a traumatic event.

Surgical nail removal: Treatment with nail surgery

Nail surgery is recommended for chronic/long-standing ingrown nails where routine treatment fails to resolve the issue. However, it is also recommended for severe ingrown nails where an infection can be present. If it is too painful for routine treatment to be performed, a local anaesthetic can be used to numb the toe and remove the offending nail edge.

Nail surgery is a very safe procedure and the podiatrist will assess all medical conditions before the surgery. Nail surgery can be performed for patients with diabetes, given it is well controlled and there are no other complications present. Your podiatrist will use their expert clinical judgment and get specialists/GPs involved if needed.

Nail surgery involves removing a small portion of the nail (Partial Nail Avulsion or PNA). Then we can use a chemical to destroy the nail matrix and prevent that part of the nail from growing back. PNAs only involve taking the small portion of ingrown nail that is causing pain and generally will not cause significant cosmetic damage.

nail surgery perth

nail podiatry perth

How does nail surgery work?

You can book your appointment over the phone, using our web form or through our online booking system. The initial consult is important, so the podiatrist can assess whether you are the right fit for this surgical procedure.

Nail surgeon perth: The choice to have surgery

At your initial consultation, your podiatrist will decide whether nail surgery or conservative treatment is recommended. If nail surgery is recommended and agreed upon, your podiatrist will need to perform the required pre-surgical neurovascular assessments, and then rebook for nail surgery once approved.

What to expect: On the day of your nail surgery

On the day of surgery, your podiatrist will first numb the toe with an anaesthetic. Once we confirm the toe is completely numb, we will then create a straight cut through the nail and remove the offending spicule. A chemical agent will be placed at the base of the nail to destroy the nail matrix and prevent the nail from growing back. We then dress the nail with sterile dressings to ensure the nail doesn’t get wet.

The procedure will take about 30 minutes and your consultation will take 60 minutes.

We will review the nail within 24-72 hours to assess for any signs of infection, and we will supply dressings for you to use at home. For the first few days, you will be wearing open shoes, and we recommend you rest your feet for the first 2 days. After about 1 week, you can resume normal activities and you can restart sporting activities after about 4 to 6 weeks.

nail bracing perth

Is there a way I can avoid nail surgery?

Onyfix nail treatment: Painless nail bracing by your podiatrist

ONYFIX is the newest innovative technology from Germany used to treat mild to moderate stages of ingrown toenails. This is an excellent alternative bracing solution for patients who wish to avoid treatment with nail surgery (such as those who are needle-phobic, pregnant or breastfeeding mums, or high-risk neurovascular patients, eg. diabetics). Using specialised equipment, our Podiatrists apply a UV hardened composite material to the growing base of the nail plate. This creates a comfortable tension that reshapes the nail as it grows out.

Onyfix can also be combined with other conservative nail edge removal as described before.

Best treatment for nails: From assessment to treatment

Your podiatrist will be able to assess the severity of your ingrown nails. Depending on many factors, your podiatrist will then advise and recommend the best treatment for your ingrown toenails.

nail experts cottesloe

Why choose the Foot Clinic?

Established in 1999, The Foot Clinic has not only withstood the test on time, but is also considered one of the leaders in new and innovative technology and Podiatry procedures. Many nail surgeries have been performed at our welcoming practice in Cottesloe with great outcomes.

We understand that you may be time-poor or busy.We will work with you to find the best time and approach to get the best possible outcomes for you.