Background: Ingrowing toenail is a common condition treated by general surgeons. Our aim was to analyze the effectiveness of wedge resection with phenolization in the surgical treatment of ingrowing toenails.

Methods: We retrospectively audited 100 patients who underwent wedge resection with phenolization for the treatment of ingrowing toenail between January 2000 and June 2004 by a single surgeon. We reviewed all charts and attempted to contact all patients for a telephone interview to assess patient satisfaction. Outcome measures were: 1) recurrence rate, 2) duration of analgesic use, 3) postoperative complications including wound infection, 4) time to return to normal activities, and 5) satisfaction with the procedure.

Results: A total of 168 wedge resection with phenolization procedures were performed on 100 patients. There was only one recurrence (0.6%). Two patients (2%) had wound infection and were treated with oral antibiotics. The average time for a single wedge resection with phenolization procedure was 7.3 minutes. The mean time to return to normal activities was 2.1 weeks. The patient response rate for the telephone interview was 60%. Most respondents (93.3%) were satisfied with the overall outcome.

Conclusions: Wedge resection with phenolization is a very effective mode of therapy in the surgical treatment of ingrowing toenail, with a very low recurrence rate and minimal postoperative morbidity. Wedge resection with phenolization should be considered as a good alternative technique in the treatment of ingrowing toenail. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(2): 118–122, 2008)

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