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Toll-Free: 866-274-0285
Phone: 309-661-9975
Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates
Call 309-661-9975
Toll Free 866-274-0285
Fax 309-661-9920

Ingrown Toenails Procedure

Here is a step-by-step guide to how we surgically remove an ingrown toenail:

  1. Dr. Lockwood will determine if the toe is infected or not – usually infections will have pus or other drainage. This determines whether or not we can perform a matrixectomy, where a chemical is applied to the affected area to kill the nail root and ensure the nail does not come back. If there is an infection present, we can not perform the matrixectomy that day.

  2. We numb the toe. The whole numbing process lasts less than 60 seconds total and is usually the ‘worst’ part of the whole procedure since the numbing medication does burn.

  3. You will then sit and relax for 5 minutes to let the numbing medication take full effect. While you are relaxing, our medical assistant will review the post procedure instructions and you can pick out your bandage color for today’s dressing.

  4. The procedure takes about 5-10 minutes total. We put a drape up so you don’t have to see anything and at the end we can show you the removed toenail if you would like.

  5. During the procedure, Dr. Lockwood will loosen up the corners of the affected nail with a freer elevator (shiny not sharp instrument), and then clip back the offending nail with an English anvil (fancy nail cutter). We remove the nail root (matrix) with a #62 blade and then use a hemostat to take it out and away from the nail bed.

  6. If we are putting a chemical in, this will be done now. You won’t feel anything while we put the chemical in (three 60 second applications). The tourniquet is then removed.

  7. Finally, we will finish up the procedure by dressing the wound. Amerigel Wound Dressing is applied, then 2 pieces of gauze and your bandage color of choice. This is applied tightly to help stop any bleeding. A bandaid at the base of your toe keeps it nice and secure.


ingrown toenails