Toenail disorders

Fungal Nails

A fungal nail infection, referred to in medical terms as onychomycosis, occurs when fungi (a kind of microorganism) infect your nails. You may first notice the infection as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your nail. Symptoms of a fungal infection may include brittleness, discoloration, thickening and crumbling of the nail, as well as debris under the nail itself. In some cases, the nail can detach from the nail bed.

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Thick Toenails

Abnormal thickening of the toe nail is a common complaint and is usually caused by ongoing trauma to the nail bed.

Our podiatrists have many treatment options available here at Sole Therapy for nail disorders these include:

  • General nail care and drilling of the nail to reduced thickening
  • Topical applications to encourage healthier growth of the nail.
  • LCN – nail reconstruction for unsightly and missing nails
  • Laser Therapy

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Ingrown Toenails

Definition: Ingrown Toenails are one of the most common complaints that podiatrists are asked to treat.

It can be very painful condition and because of fear of surgery many people put off seeking treatment until the nail has deteriorated to a chronic state. Many ingrown toenails can be treated without the need for surgery, although conservative measures may mean that you have to visit our podiatrist’s at regular intervals. If surgery is required, it is very likely that it can be done without the need for admission to hospital. Many ingrown nails can be treated surgically in our podiatrist’s rooms with the procedure taking an hour or less.

At Sole Therapy we can prevent ingrown toenails with regular nail care general treatment visits or we can permanently remove the problem area with a nail surgical procedure called a PNA (Partial Nail Avulsion)

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Nail Surgery for ingrown toenails (PNA) 

Nail surgery is a common procedure performed to effectively treat an ingrown toenail -a nail that has pierced (or is pressing against) the adjacent skin of the toe causing pain and inflammation and sometimes infection.

Surgery may be required when an ingrown toenail repeatedly gets infected, is continually painful, the patient is unable to wear shoes or the condition inhibits work, sporting or other activities.

Before surgery is recommended, your podiatrist will explore other conservative treatment options.

Nail surgery performed by podiatrists

A ‘Partial Nail Avulsion’ (known as a PNA or nail root and matrix resection) is a minor nail procedure which aims to permanently treat ingrown toenails. The procedure is usually performed in podiatrists’ rooms, takes around one hour and the patient is able to walk immediately afterwards.

What does a partial nail avulsion involve?

Your podiatrist will conduct a complete assessment, taking a medical history, a list of any medications that have been prescribed for you as well as considering any other clinical factors that will determine whether or not this surgery is suited to you. An assessment will generally also include an examination of blood supply to the foot.

The procedure itself is performed under local anaesthetic via injection into the toe to numb the area. The anaesthetic will wear off in about two hours.
Once numb, a tight elastic ring called a tourniquet is applied to the toe to control bleeding and the area is prepped to minimise the risk of infection.

The offending portion of the nail is then gently lifted and trimmed away, generally without the toe being cut or stitched. Both sides or the entire nail may be removed this way. A chemical may also be used at this point to assist in preventing nail regrowth.

Once the procedure is completed, the tourniquet is removed and a sterile surgical dressing is applied. The patient is able to walk immediately afterwards, however assistance getting home is strongly recommended.

What happens after the procedure?

Re-dressings at home and a few consultations with your podiatrist may be required over the two to three weeks following the procedure. For the first few days after the procedure pain relief, the use of open toed shoes and activity modification may be necessary, however interference with day to day activities is generally minimal.

What are the potential complications?

As with any surgical procedure there is some risk of complication, however this procedure is known to be very safe and effective.

The most common side-effects are post-operative infection in the short term and the possibility of regrowth of the nail over time. The risks of infection can be minimised through good post-operative care and your podiatrist will advice and assist with your situation.  

Sole Therapy offers many beneficial treatments that may help alleviate senior’s foot complaints

  1. General Treatment
  2. Biomechanical assessment
  3. Exercise Therapy and rehabilitation
  4. Orthoses therapy
  5. Footwear

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