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Matrixplasty for the Treatment of Severe Incurved Toenail with Growth Plate Deformity

J.-Young Kim Orthopedic Surgery, Foot and Ankle Clinic, Heymin General Hospital, 627-3, Jayang dong, Gwangjingu, Seoul, 443-191, Republic of Korea. (E-mail: kjyos@yahoo.co.kr)

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 MD, PhD


Severely incurved toenails are accompanied by deformity of the toenail growth plate. In such a condition, partial removal of the nail and nail bed and simple unfolding of the nail itself frequently result in the recurrence of symptoms. We sought to design and develop a new technique for the treatment of incurved toenail with growth plate deformity and to report the results of treating this disease entity.


Forty consecutive patients (52 cases) underwent treatment of symptomatic incurved toenails with a new technique named matrixplasty. The mean ± SD patient age was 40.3 ± 18.9 years. Last follow-up was at a mean ± SD of 18.0 ± 1.3 months. An American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) forefoot hallux score was assigned, and patients were evaluated before treatment and at last follow-up. Patient satisfaction and the recurrence rate of the deformity were evaluated. For evaluation of improvement in toenail shape, the center to edge angle of the toenail was measured before treatment and at last follow-up. The complication rate was also evaluated.


All of the ingrown toenails healed, and the nail deformities were corrected within 3 weeks after the procedure. None of the incurved toenails had recurred by last follow-up. The mean pretreatment AOFAS forefoot hallux score was 72.9, and it improved to 99.6 by last follow-up (P < .001). Every patient was very satisfied or satisfied with the results of treatment. The mean ± SD center to edge angle of the toenail improved from 53.3° ± 9.5° to 15.3° ± 5.2° by last follow-up (P < .001). Minor paronychia, which was managed with local wound dressing and oral antibiotics, was identified in four cases. No other complication was identified.


Matrixplasty showed excellent clinical results in the treatment of severe incurved toenail, and this newly developed procedure showed improvement of the deformed toenail and its growth plate. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 102(3): 198–204, 2012)