Twisted Toe Nails

Toe Nails Don't always Grow Straight!

Many of my clients come to see me for regular, routine podiatry 'Foot Care', however, I also get visits from people who only need a "one-off" treatment, for a problematic toe nail which has managed to get out-of-control.  Some problems are more common than others, and this article is about a condition more commonly known as 'Rams Horn' nail, or as us podiatrists call it - "Onychogryphosis".

It's a condition which is easy to manage, and I come across it usually once or twice a year, however, I've had three clients in the last two weeks with this condition.

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

Please note this article contains photo's of adisfigured toe nail, 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 Big "Thank You"

As always, I would like to give my thanks to my patient, who very kindly let me take and use the photo's of their toe in this article, along with their permission to write about this incident. It's always a great opportunity and a priviledge to be able to share such images and education on what can be done to help people. Without the consent of my patients, this would not be possible.

Onychogryphosis / "Rams Horn Nail"

Onychogryphosis or "Rams Horn Nail" is more common than you would think, but as a podiatrist, I normally only see this 2-3 times a year.  It can be caused by various problems, but more commonly by trauma to the toe, by letting the nails grow too long and wearing tight shoes.

Treating / managing these nails is actually very easy.  Initially, the problematic nail is cut back to reveal the shorter nail, so I can see how much more nail needs to be removed.  When the remaining nail can be assessed, it can be reduced down / sanded down with either a regular nail file, or a nail sander.  This brings the nail down to be as smooth / level as all the other nails.

Once this has been done, the nail can be shaped like any other nail.

Rams Horn Nail

Rams Horn Nail



Treated Nail

"After Treatment"


"After Treatment"

After Care

Once the nails have been cut back and shaped, regular treatment with a normal nail file will keep the problematic nail in a manageable state.  If you have no further problems managing your toe nails, then I'll be happy to have been able to help you.

However, if you generally have difficulty maintining your toenails, you can always book a regular foot health check and treatment with me.  Amongst the checks I do, one of the key tests I perform is assessing the quality of your circulation to your feet,  something diabetics patients get once a year from the NHS.  Along with listening to the quality of your circulation, I'm also listening to the rhythm of your pulse.  Irregular heart beats can lead to strokes and heart attacks, and can be picked up when listening to the pulses in the feet.   Prevention is always better than cure!

Doppler and Monofilament

Tools of the Trade

If you have any problems with your feet, and want that professional assessment / treatment, you don't need a doctors referral.  You can book in with me online, or email me at  When emailing me, please state the nature of your problem, which clinic you would like to be seen at (Acklam / Helmsley), AND INCLUDED a contact number.  If you email me simply stating "Can I book an appointment?" gives me nothing to work with, except to email you back asking for more information.

You can book online:

To book an appointment at the Acklam Green  Centre, Stainsby Road, TS5 4JS, you can click here.

To book an appointment at Bondgate Clinic, Helmsley, you can click here.

Alternatively, phone me / leave me a message on 07846 752993.  I'm usually gloved-up, treating people or out on home visits, so it's rare I answer straight away, but please leave me a message, including your name, number and the nature of your problem, and I will phone you back.


About footman

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