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Ingrown Nail Surgery

Onychocryptosis, commonly known as an ingrown toenail, occurs when the edge, corner, or side of a toenail curls down and grows into the adjacent skin. This condition frequently affects the big toe, leading to redness, swelling, heat, and discomfort in the affected area.

When other treatments fail to resolve the issue, we can perform ingrown toenail surgery. There are two surgical options provided by podiatrists: total nail removal and partial nail removal.

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Partial Toenail Avulsion (PNA)

Partial Nail Avulsion with phenolisation (PNA) involves permanently removing only the ingrown portion of the toenail, leaving the rest of the nail intact. The removed section does not regrow, maintaining a relatively normal appearance for the toe. 

Total Toenail Avulsion (TNA)

Total Nail Avulsion (TNA) entails the complete removal of the toenail. This option is recommended when both sides of the toenail persistently regrow after multiple procedures or when the nail naturally curves, causing recurring issues. Once the entire nail is removed, it can regrow normally within approximately 12 months.



The process of ingrown toenail removal involves eight steps, which are detailed in our blog post. Here is a brief summary:

  1. Clean and numb the area.

  2. Remove part of the nail.

  3. Dress the area to begin recovery.

After numbing the toe with a local anesthetic, the nail is separated from the nail bed, and the ingrown edge is cut vertically from the side down to the cuticle. This section is then removed using specialized tools. Any overgrown tissue is also removed, and a piece of cotton is placed under the remaining nail to prevent regrowth into the skin.

Finally, liquid phenol acid is applied to destroy the nail matrix (the area beneath the cuticle that produces nail cells), preventing regrowth. We aim to remove as little of the nail as possible to ensure the toenail remains only slightly narrower than its original width.

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