A Left-over Piece of Nail After an Ingrown Toenail Operation
SL, a 59-year-old female, had an operation for her ingrown toenail 2 years ago by another physician. After the wound in the operated site healed, she continued to experience on and off pain and swelling on the side of her right big toe, until she consulted me last week for what seemed to be a piece of nail protruding from the fleshy part of her right big toe. (See pictures.)
Under local anesthesia, I explored the affected area and found a 3 x2 x1 mm toenail embedded in the fleshy part of her right big toe. The nail was NOT connected to the toenail proper.
This is the first time I encountered such kind of a situation. My explanation: 2 years ago, during the ingrown toenail operation, there was already this small piece of nail detached from the main nail, which was NOT completely removed from the nail bed right after the operation and during cleaning of the wound, which eventually got covered by a healing fleshy tissue, and which eventually protruded (2 years after).
Physicians: be aware of the possible occurrence of such a rare condition and avoid it by making sure to remove all detached small pieces of nail that may accompany an ingrown toenail operation.
Others: Be aware of such a rare situation.