Thickened, Uncomfortable Toenail?

CAUTION - This article contains photo's of toe nails.

Please note this article contains photo's of a damaged toe nail, before and after a treatment.  As podiatrists we see and deal with these types of nails day-in and day out, and give patients a great deal of satisfaction and comfort from our treatment.  HOWEVER, some more sensitive people may not wish to view the images, so click here to return to my home page.

 

A Long, Ongoing Problem.

First of all, a very big thank you to my patient today, who has given me permission to use these photographs of their feet.  They have had this problem for many years, and was unsure about having it dealth with, due to the concern regarding the possible pain and discomfort of the treatment.

As I explained to her from the beginning, if I take a photo for before and after, I HAVE to go extremely careful to ensure a very good final photo is taken.

The person in question had suffered trauma to the right 1st toe nail over 20 years ago, and a treatment at the time hadn't quite gone to plan.  One nail had recovered very well, but this one had become thickened.  This was causing a few other problems, such as the toe was feeling uncomfortable in shoes, and was squashing other toes as well.

It was my good furture that one of my regular patients had recommended me.

So, What Happened Next?

Patient health history was taken, along with checking medications to ensure everything was safe for the treatment to proceed.  The patients circulation was checked to ensure a good blood supply was reaching the foot (this is done at all of my assessments), and then I explained to the patient what I was going to do to help them.

I advised the majority of the nail would be cut back using nail cutters, and then as the nail gets reduced, I'd be using a nail drill / nail sander to smooth the rest of the nail down, making it very flat, removing pressure from any footwear.

Doppler, monofilament and a Foot!

Foot Checks

Patient having a toe nail reduced with a nail drill.

A Nail Drill

Right Foot 1st Toenail Thickened

Before Podiatry Treatment Photo1

Right 1st Toenail before Treatment

Before Podiatry Treatment Photo2

How Long Did This Podiatry Treatment Take?

From sitting down in my clinic room, to leaving took just over 30 minutes.

I talked the patient through the planned podiatry treatment before starting, and continued to explain as I progressed, checking the patient was comfortable at all times.

Right 1st Toenail, cut and smoothed down.
Right 1st Toenail, after a treatment, Onychauxic

Happy Patient, Happy Podiatrist

When I'd finished, the patient was very happy with the results and even going to book a holiday, something they had been reluctant to do, as they didn't want to get their feet out in public.

They described the treatment as completely painless, and wish they had been to see me several years ago.

As a health care professional, this makes me very happy, making a difference in someones life in such a short space of time.

I am also extremly grateful for the patient allowing me to photograph and share this, in order to be able to help other people know what options are available.

Are there any other options?

The other option for a nail like this would be nail surgery, where the nail is removed, and a chemical called phenol is applied to prevent the nail from re-growing.

This is more destructive, but a permanent fix.  With the surgery, once the nail has been removed, it should not grow back, leaving just a hardened suface where the nail was.

In this particular case, the nail will continue to grow, but will be managed, and may need ongoing care to keep it comfortable.  This gives the patient the option to monitor it, and see how it grows.

Have You Got Problem Nails?

If you have problematic nails, causing pain or discomfort, or you simply feel embarrassed about them, give your local friendly podiatrist a call.  You may be suprised how quickly we can help!

About footman

As a HCPC Registered Chiropodist ~ Podiatrist, I currently run clinics in Acklam - Middlesbrough and Helmsley - North Yorkshire. My clinics cover the following areas: Biomechanical assessments & custom made insoles, nails cut and toe nail surgery, diabetic foot checks, callus (hard skin) and corn removal, fungal nails and athlete's foot, verrucae treatments, plus a whole lot more....