Toenail Surgery

Ingrowing Toenails (Ingrown Toenails)

An ingrowing toenail is a common condition which can be very painful leading to infection and prolonged pain.  Various treatments can be given by a doctor or podiatrist (chiropodist).  Nail surgery is easily and effectively performed using local anaesthetic to treat and prevent regrowth of the affected nail. The procedure takes up to an hour and the patient can return to work and their normal routine the following day.

Many people suffer from ingrowing toenails at some point in their lifetime.They are most common on your big toe nails but can also occur on the smaller toes too.
Ingrowing toenails occur when the nail penetrates the skin at the side of the nail plate (sulcus). This causes a wound (or foreign body reaction) that can become infected. In some instances this results in extra tissue forming (hypergranulation tissue). This tissue has a very good blood supply and can bleed easily.

What causes ingrowing toenails?

Usually there is no apparent reason why it occurs. 

Tight-fitting shoes may be a cause in some cases. Often, they are due to the shape of the nail plate. Some people have wide nail plates, others curved nail plates which means the nail cannot easily grow free at the sides. This makes cutting the sides of the nail very difficult and it is common in people who cut their toenails very short down the sides.  If a spike of nail is left or causes a small tear in the skin, a wound is formed and infection can follow.

Other possible causes are injury to the nail and swelling of the surrounding skin can, or a fungal infection of the nail.


Ingrowing Toenails can be treated by the podiatrist without surgery by attempting to remove any ‘spikes’ of nail and with routine nail care techniques such as packing underneath the nail, to elevate the nail and alleviate pressure on the sulcus.

Ingrowing toenails that are recurring or persistent often benefit from toenail surgery. Part of the nail or the whole nail can be removed. A partial nail avulsion (PNA) involves removing the side of the nail down the affected side. A total nail avulsion (TNA) is removal of the entire nail. This procedure is only carried out when either both sides of the nail are particularly bad or when the whole nail is quite deformed.

Toenail surgery is performed using local anaesthetic when the toe has gone completely numb. Then nail is and a form of acid called liquid phenol is then applied and neutralised. In most cases this prevents that part of the nail growing back. It is then dressed and managed by the podiatrist and patient over the next few weeks. The procedure takes up to an hour and is a minor operation that can be done in clinic.

Our experienced podiatrists regularly carry out this procedure and our patients report a positive experience and instant relief.  If you are having problems with ingrowing toe nails or any other issues with your feet call Feet First Podiatry on 0161 7972040 or fill out our feedback form.

To Follow


The podiatrists that work at the practice are members of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists and/or Members of the HPC. You can check the registration of our podiatrists are registered here.

Back | Top of Page