In many cases ingrown toenail pain can be resolved by cutting the toenails correctly and avoiding wearing footwear that is too tight around the toes. When this doesn't resolve the problematic ingrown toenail, consulting a podiatrist to carefully remove the sharp ingrown spicule of nail may be required. In most cases this can be done in minutes by a podiatrist without the need of anaesthetic.

In cases of a more severe ingrown toenail or the discomfort and/or infections with an ingrown toenail becoming recurrent, ingrown toenail surgery may be indicated as a permanent solution. A Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA) with chemical matrixectomy is the most common surgical toenail procedure performed at the clinic. The procedure involves removing the edge of toenail that is ingrown as well as the associated nail root/matrix and chemical phenolisation of the nail matrix . The procedure is performed in the rooms using a sterile field and sterile instruments and usually takes approximately 45-60 minutes.

Research shows that this is the most reliable procedure for reducing the risk of recurrence of an ingrown toenail. It is also less invasive and therefore less painful as it does not involve any stitches. Local anaesthetic is injected at the base of the toe to prevent any pain during the procedure and only mild over-the-counter pain medication (eg Panadol) may be required afterwards. Most patients report less pain the day after the procedure compared to the ingrown toenail pain experienced before. Cosmetically, once healed the toenail usually looks only slightly narrower than prior to the procedure.

After the procedure a thick absorbent dressing is used which must be left intact and dry for 2-4 days until your review appointment. During this time, open or loose footwear is advised, and normal daily activities can resume the day after the surgery. At the review appointment the initial dressing is removed and instructions are given on how to redress your toe using a simple thin dressing until healed. Complete healing usually takes 2-6 weeks and a review appointment is advised 2 weeks after the procedure.

Most people suffering with severe or chronic ingrown toenails are candidates for this procedure. However due to current medical conditions, medications, reduced circulation to the feet etc, this procedure may not be advisable. Your eligibility for ingrown toenail surgery will be examined prior to the procedure.