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A New Surgical Technique for the Correction of Pincer Nail Deformity

Mutaf, Mehmet MD; Sunay, Mahmut MD; Işk, Daghan MDı

doi: 10.1097/
Original Article

Background: Pincer nail is a rare deformity characterized by transverse overcurvature of the nail that increases distally. Many conservative and surgical treatment modalities have been recommended, but there is not a worldwide accepted technique for long lasting treatment of this deformity yet.

Purpose: A new surgical technique for the treatment of pincer nail deformity is described.

Material and Method: In this procedure, after the osteophyte located on the dorsal surface of the distal phalanx is removed to provide a flat surface for the nail bed, the distal part of the nail bed is enlarged in a transverse direction by using a modified 5-flap z-plasty technique. Over 2 years, this technique has been performed on 15 toes in 8 patients.

Results: In all patients, the deformity was eliminated successfully with no recurrence in 2 years of follow up. The growing nail turned back into its natural form and all clinical signs and symptoms of the pincer nail deformity were relieved.

Conclusions: Widening and flattening the nail bed provide a longlasting effective treatment of the pincer nail deformity with an excellent esthetic result. Pain and episodes of infection is relieved perfectly with this new technique.

Fifteen pincer toenail deformities were successfully treated by dorsal osteophyte excision and modified 5-flap z-plasty.

From the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Gaziantep University School of Medicine, Gaziantep, Turkey.

Received June 19, 2006, and accepted for publication, after revision, August 23, 2006.

Reprints: Mehmet Mutaf, MD, Universite PTT Subesi, PK. 6, Gaziantep, Turkey. E-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.