A PNA (partial nail avulsion) is a common procedure performed by Podiatrists when conservative management of a repeatedly painful or infected ingrown toenail has been unsuccessful. In some cases, a TNA (total nail avulsion) is required.
What does a partial nail avulsion involve?
This nail surgery is performed under a local anaesthetic to numb the toe being operated on and a tourniquet is placed over the toe to control bleeding. The nail is cut down the length of the nail edge and removed from the nail matrix (base of the nail). In the case of a total nail avulsion, the entire nail is removed. This procedure is done gently, so no stitches are required to the surrounding skin. At this point a chemical is applied to the area to prevent any regrowth of nail (NOTE: not all health professionals do this). If this chemical is not used, the nail will regrow and will often become ingrown again.
The toe is then dressed in a sterile dressing and requires re-dressing with some follow-up appointments. Overall the surgery will require an hour consultation, and the patient is able to walk on it immediately. The expected recovery time is anywhere from 3 – 8 weeks depending on the overall health of the patient.
As with any surgery, there are risks of complications involved with this procedure, but is known to be safe and effective. Your podiatrist will evaluate your ingrown toenail and your general health, and determine whether or not you are a good candidate for the operation. This will all be discussed prior to your consultation.