The Thickened Regenerating Toenail...

by David

So when I was about 15 years old I had a general anesthetic to remove both my big toenails as they had become thick and very hard to cut (ever since I was quite young... I seem to recall dropping something on them when I was about 8).

Anyway, I remember before the surgery the doctor telling me there was a chance that some of the nail bed would remain and *may* grow back as splinters.

After 2 weeks in bed (to ensure the wounds wouldn't re-open) everything looked good. After a year some splinters were growing... and that kept happening to now where both nails have grown back... thick as ever with a few disjoint splinters on the left/right.

So... is this common? I mean, I would have expected some nail re-growth but not complete nails.

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Feb 09, 2017
surgical ingrown toenail regrowth
by: Dominic

The "splinters" are regrowth. Most toenail removal procedures carry some sort of "risk of regrowth". Most are around 5-10%- just because anatomy for everyone isnt the same- flippantly, the sun the moon and the stars line up and things go wrong.

With surgical removal of the matrix- where the toenail grows from, sometimes leaves scar tissue therefore doing other procedures can be hard to do, getting pas this type of skin.

The thickening of the toenails are there because the matrix was damaged. probably by you dropping something onto it. Once damaged it doesnt usually get back to normal.

Nowadays surgical removal of the nail matrix is not usually done. Phenol (a chemical) destruction of the matrix or even removal of the skin surrounding the nail itself is usually considered.

As a side note, staying in bed for 2 weeks might have been excessive :) In our clinic the patient walks in and walks out and can go to work the next day.

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About Dominic Hough

Hi. I'm Dominic. I treat patients every day at a local clinic. I am a trained Chiropodist and I care about prevention. I designed the website to help readers understand treat and even prevent issues from happening to their feet.