Partial Nail Avulsion and Healing
Healing and recovery following a Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA) for an ingrowing toenail takes about 3-6 weeks or longer.
The toenail however will take about 6 months to 1 year to look completely normal again. This is because complete growth of the toenail from the base to the top of the toenail has to happen. Eventually the toenail will look the same as before the procedure but much narrower which means it will no longer dig in and cause pain and infection.
The following documents a partial nail avulsion to the medial side of the right hallux toenail (1st toenail) in November 2008 to permanently cure an ingrowing toenail by removing a small section of the toenail. The toenail was frequently infected and was painful and uncomfortable most of the time.
Partial Nail Avulsion - procedure
- local anaesthetic to the base of the right big toenail to numb the toe to make the procedure painless
- removal of a small piece of nail (in this case about 4-5mm) from the side of the nail
- phenolisation of the relevant part of the nail bed for 1 minute x 2 applications with EZ swabs. Phenol is a strong chemical which is applied to destroy the relevant part of the nail bed to stop the side of the toenail regrowing.
Why was this Procedure Undertaken?
Before the Partial Nail Avulsion the toenail was constantly digging into the skin at the side of the nail and causing the patient pain and discomfort. Several episodes of infection had occurred.
Conservative treatment had been tried for many months which included elevating the side of nail, slightly cutting down the side of the nail to remove a small part of the nail, packing with cotton wool and tinc benz.
The toenail had become a constant source of discomfort.
Recovery from Toenail Surgery
The following photos below show recovery of the toenail and the surrounding skin following the nail surgery. Healing times vary according to the severity of the ingrowing toenail and the individual patient. Healing typically takes 3-6 weeks or longer.
Without the use of the phenol healing would be much quicker but the side of the toenail would regrow.
The nail often only looks perfectly straight at the side after about 6 months to 1 year when the toenail has grown from the base up to the top of the toe.