A subungual hematoma is a collection of blood beneath the nail and is usually from trauma to the nail unit. This can be from obvious injuries like dropping something on the toe or stubbing it or it can occur from repetitive microtrauma. This is usually the case with runners or athletics when the toe is constantly and repetitively hitting the shoe. A small sore develops beneath the nail plate and bleeds under the nail. This then forms a blood blister beneath the nail which can be very painful and feel like there is a lot of pressure beneath the nail.
Treatment options vary depending on the injury and the amount of nail involved that has the hematoma. If there is any known injury, an Xray may be obtained to rule out a fracture to the underlying bone. If the hematoma encompasses a small area and the nail is not painful, the area can typically be left alone and the bruising will slowly grow out of the nail. If there is pain to the area and the hematoma involves a large portion of the nail, the pressure can be relieved by puncturing a small hole in the nail plate and allowing the fluid to drain or the nail is removed in its entirety and allowed to grow back. This is done under local anesthesia in the office.
If you experience this or any other foot and/or ankle issue, please call us at 972-542-2155 for more information.