A Subungual Exostosis is a bony projection which can arise underneath the toenail. They generally are a result of some form of trauma to the toe that results in the formation of bony irregularity or prominence. This condition usually affects teenagers and young adults, and is predominantly seen in females.
Causes of Subungual Exostosis:
The cause of Subungual Exostosis is unclear, however it is thought to occur as a reaction to:
– Constant irritation
– Previous Trauma
– Chronic Infection
– Inherited conditions such as multiple Exostoses Syndrome
Symptoms of Subungual Exostosis:
– Exostosis grows gradually over weeks and months
– It presents as a hard painful swelling under or beside the toenail, usually on its inner side.
– As it grows it presses against the nail, causing pain, which may be confined to the nail fold.
– With further growth, it separates the nail form the nail bed and erodes the overlying skin (making it prone to infections).
Treatment for Subungual Exostosis:
As the Subungual Exostosis continues to grow, it damages the surrounding tissue which causes a lot of pain to the toenail. The best treatment option is to remove the bony projection altogether, resulting in surgery. The procedure is done under local anaesthesia by your podiatrist. The Exostosis is removed, along with the attached nail bed. The surface of the underlying bone is scraped to ensure complete removal of the exostosis and to prevent its recurrence in the future.