Treatment of subungual exostoses by elective day case surgery

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Twenty-one patients (11 female, 10 male: mean age 21.3 years) with subungual exostoses were treated with elective surgery under local anaesthetic in a dermatology day case theatre over a period of 8 years. Fifteen (71%) tumours affected the great toe, four (19%) affected other toes and two (10%) affected fingers. All received local excision with great care to remove all tumour residue from the terminal phalanx. Wounds were allowed to heal by secondary intention. Attention was paid to preoperative antiseptic procedure and postoperative analgesia. During follow-up of between 6 and 36 months (mean 17 months), there were two relapses (10%) in the first 12 months, seen in two of the younger subjects aged 9 and 13 years. One required further surgery. One further case suffered long-term dystrophy due to perioperative damage to nail matrix. Conservative and thorough treatment of this pathology can be achieved using the appropriate tools in a dermatology day case theatre.

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