The Running Doctor: Golfers beware of ingrown toenails
We recently watched an all-star celebrity champions golf event that featured Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning facing off against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. The event took place in Hobe, Florida, with the proceeds from the event, as well as money from advertisers, benefitting those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The game of golf is an excellent way to get exercise, especially if you walk the golf course in the open air.
Although we still have to keep social distancing, there are many who are serious golfers who also use the time on the course to discuss important business events and community affairs.
Recently I spoke to a veteran golfer, Dr. Henry Lee, one of the world’s foremost forensic scientists who finds that conversation with the game allows him and colleagues a relaxed method to problem solving cases.
In the game of golf there is less overuse injuries, but believe it or not one of the most common is an ingrown painful toenail.
Players, and people in general, often turn their feet (pronate or rolls in) and the nails get injured. They are coming into the office with an ingrown toenail and all the accompanying problems.
There are several causes of an ingrown toenail. Among them are foot deformities, trauma and bunions which can cause the big toe to rotate on its side. The rotation pushes the toe tissue up around the nail, forcing the nail edge into the flesh. After a few weeks or months, when the injury is forgotten, an ingrown nail might develop. As continuous pressure of the soft tissue progresses, there is a decrease in blood supply to the area under the nail border and that creates tissue breakdown, leading to bacteria growth and a severe infection. Treatment is directed to removing the ingrown part of the nail. This is the only way to cure the infection.
The worst treatment for ingrown toenails is home surgery. This treatment might leave a nail spicule or point fragment. Once the nail spicule is removed, the infection needs to stay clean in order to heal properly.
Dr. Robert F. Weiss is a podiatrist. He was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials. Dr. Weiss is a veteran of 35 marathons. For more information go to www.facebook.com/drrobertweiss