While ingrown toenails can be incredibly painful, it is also true that you can develop a more serious condition if left untreated; a condition known as osteomyelitis, which is a bone infection caused by an ingrown toenail. This is a rare situation but serious so it is very important that if you have an infected ingrown toenail you have it treated as soon as possible.
Ingrown Toenails Seen Same Day in Seattle
At the Foot & Ankle Center of Washington, our doctors, Dr. Larry Huppin and Dr. Doug Hale, believe in treating ingrown toenails immediately and, as a result, have made it incumbent upon us to see ingrown toenail patients the same day they call for an appointment (during business hours). If you can’t come in that day we’ll get you in the next business day.
What is Osteomyelitis?
Osteomyelitis is a bone infection caused by bacteria from an infection attacking the outer layer of the bone. If an ingrown toenail is not treated successfully and persists for several weeks or months, an infection may develop which will affect the nearby bone. Since the growth cells of the toenail reside very close to the surface of the bones of the toe, an infected ingrown toenail may migrate to the root cells, and may also attack the bone.
Treatment of Bone Infections
Because bones have a limited blood supply, antibiotic therapy for a bone infection is marginally successful at best. Antibiotics simply do not penetrate the bone easily, which usually makes this therapy either inconsistent or completely ineffective. In fact, because of the toe bones inability to absorb antibiotics, most toe bone infections require surgery to remove the infected bone to prevent the infection from spreading further. In extreme cases of toe bone infection, a partial toe amputation, or even complete removal of the toe may be required to resolve the situation.
Treat Ingrown Toenails Right Away
While this type of extreme toe bone infection is rare, it can develop in an untreated ingrown toenail and should be avoided at all costs. Since conservative treatment of an ingrown toenail is relatively simple, and very effective, leaving this condition untreated is a risk that need not be taken.
The podiatrists at the Foot & Ankle Center of Washington have successfully treated literally thousands of ingrown toenails. If you have an infected ingrown toenail, make an appointment to see Dr. Hale or Dr. Huppin immediately for permanent relief of your painful ingrown toenail, and for protection from further disease. When you call for an appointment, let our receptionist know that you have an ingrown toenail and she will get you in on the same day or, if you cannot make it, the next business day.