Ingrowing Toenail Surgery

When a nail is cut incorrectly or due to trauma a small spicule of nail will penetrate the flesh and cause the redness and pain associated with an ingrowing toenail. This is because the body is trying to expel the nail, which it recognises as a 'foreign body'. Often the wound becomes infected and will improve with antibiotics but usually until the nail spike is removed the problem will persist. Occasionally removing a small piece of the nail will solve the problem but usually a wedge of nail needs to be removed under local anaesthetic.


This involves a local anaesthetic given into the base of the toe. Once the toe has gone numb the procedure will be pain free and generally there is very little pain afterwards.

A wedge of nail is removed and the root of the nail destroyed using a strong chemical called phenol. This should prevent the nail wedge from regrowing. The chemical is washed out with alcohol and the toe bandaged.

Please come to clinic with a slipper or sandal big enough to accommodate a large bandage.
The procedure takes about 15 minutes and you should be able to go home straight afterwards. You will be able to return to normal activities after 24 hours but the wound will take about 8 weeks to heal. This shouldn't stop you from wearing normal shoes and exercising soon after surgery.