About a month ago I had surgery to correct my ingrown toe nails. The doctor killed a portion of the root of both my big toes. About a week ago I stubbed my right toe and it started bleeding. I've been keeping an eye on it and clean and dress it on a daily basis. I have noticed that the skin around my left toe nail has healed and has grown over the portion of the nail bed where the root was killed leaving me with a narrower toe nail. The skin on my right toe, that I stubbed, has not healed quite the same way. The nail looks white and is very loose, I am concerned that the nail on my right toe will fall off and not grow back due to me stubbing my toe. Should I be concerned and will it grow back?
In answer to your questions the first issue I will deal with is the issue of trauma to your right nail. If the nail is loose as a result of the trauma that you sustained, there is a good chance that you may lose your nail. The good news is that a new nail will grow back. There is a caveat here, however. You will need to keep an eye on the new nail that is growing out (assuming you lose your nail). Many times when you sustain trauma to a nail you have to be concerned about any possible damage that may have occurred to the nail growth plate as well. If the trauma to the toe was great enough there may be damage to the growth plate and of course that is where the nail grows from. Damage to the growth plate can cause the new nail to grow out thick and distorted. We as podiatrists see this all the time. So, if you lose the nail and the new nail that begins to grow out appears thick and possibly discolored, you would be wise to see a podiatrist in an effort to "save" the nail. If you ignore this, you could end up with a very unsightly nail. You mention that your nail is now more narrow than it was prior to surgery. This is a normal occurrence. Obviously, if a portion of nail is removed, the remaining nail will naturally not be as wide. The key here is how much nail did the doctor remove. When I do this procedure, I try and remove the ingrown nail, but not too much nail to end up distorting the appearance of the nail. Hopefully, your doctor took the same approach. As far as the "material" lying in the area where the nail was removed, it probably can be removed by your doctor. Since I do not know what kind of procedure you had performed I am not sure what that material is, but more than likely it can be removed.