Lisa had pain from an ingrown toenail for several months. She felt she had tried everything including trying to remove the ingrown nail herself. A friend of hers told her just to cut a V into her toenail – which sadly didn’t work. She tried a shopping centre nail salon but they turned her away saying they could not help her.
By this time, the nail had become a little pustulent, Lisa then also visited her GP who was some help and prescribed some antibiotics. While this cleared up the infection that had occurred, it did not take away the pain for more than a day or so and she found that her problem returned shortly after her antibiotics ran out.
When Lisa visited our clinic her toe was red around the area that the nail meets the skin on the side of the toe. It became obvious that what had happened was that Lisa’s toe nail was quite ingrown and that the answer was to remove the offending piece of nail. By this time Lisa was quite upset and was worried about how painful it was going to be to remove the nail.
We offered Lisa the option of having a local anaesthetic injection but we assured her that when you know what you are doing and have seen as many ingrown toenail as the podiatrists at A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care, you get very good at removing these with little or any pain.
In this instance Lisa opted to try without the anaesthetic injection. Within a couple of minutes the ingrown nail was removed from the infected area with little if any pain, yes as many people are Lisa was surprised at how painless and easy it was – she’s wondering why she had waited so long?
We asked Lisa to keep a small bandage on the toe for another four days, simply to keep the area dry and free of nasty bugs and bits getting into the area as it was already red and inflamed when she arrived.
A check up in two weeks found Lisa to be pain free! She reported it took about 24 hours to calm down and has been completely pain free since and she can now go back to wearing her high heels… hmmmmm
My patient can’t believe it, well in fact she can’t feel it, which is what she is having trouble adjusting to. You see this lovely lady has had a painful ingrown toenail on her big toe for the last 5 years. Her doctor who thought he was doing the right thing continued to put her on multiple courses of antibiotics but to no relief. Antibiotic whilst obviously successful in treating the infection in the surrounding tissue does not remove the small piece of nail that has protruded sharply into the skin around the nail.
This nail had also been treated by another Podiatrist who recognising that the patient had this nail protruding into the skin removed the nail …….. well the nail that they could see! This is truly what is needed in many cases. A simple quick process of removing the offending piece of nail relatively painless and simple for most people. However in this case, as with others that suffer from this condition over many months or even years a nail surgery was required.
The patient had spoken to their Podiatrist about this a few times and had mentioned it again at their last appointment with the Pod however the Pod was sure that with regular treatment it would be manageable. After many more months this lovely lady justifiably lost patience and faith in her Pod. She was looking for a solution to her ingrown toe nail pain and wanted it NOW !
Nail surgeries are not new for podiatrist and are something we do on a regular basis. It is done in our rooms and is a relatively simple procedure. I often describe this as relatively pain free – it is wrong to say any surgical procedure is “pain free” but as procedures go our patients report very little if any pain. I recommend this procedure for patients with involuted or very curved nails, Nails with areas that seem to catch the skin on the side of the nail. Again nails that have a long history of infection or growing in.
The message – really is a solution and that you don’t need to be in long term pain. 5 years is a long time in pain!
For all your Foot and Lower Limb Care needs, come and see us at:
A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Care
24 Phillip Street, St Marys; or
Suite 4, 36 Woodriff Street, Penrith