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Orthonyxia is a podiatric technique consisting of placing a nail orthosis on a patient’s toenail that is deformed or has an abnormal curvature before treatment. Update with Bruno Salomon, President of the Union of Podiatrists.

Definition of orthonyxia

Orthonyxia is based on the installation of a nail orthosis in patients suffering from an ingrown or deformed nail following trauma. “We are faced with nails in volute, Provence tile or with a plication”, describes Bruno Salomon, President of the Union of Podiatrists. “At some point, for various reasons, there may have been a conflict between the nail and the surrounding skin tissue on a toe. The objective of orthonyxia is to modify the curve of the nail using special equipment to put an end to this conflict.

Orthonyxia is performed by a chiropodist-podiatrist. “It is a common practice but not necessarily carried out by all health professionals”indicates Bruno Salomon.

Orthonyxie, orthoplastie et onychoplastie

Orthoplasty corresponds to all toe orthotics. It includes a set of equipment intended to compensate for a faulty function of one or more toes. These toe orthotics are made of silicone and are generally removable. They also include nail orthoses.

Onychoplasty refers to a resin nail prosthesis which can completely or partially replace the nail, temporarily.

What causes deformed nails?

Hereditary and morphological causes (anomaly of the bone of the distal phalanx for example), can be the origin of this deformation in a patient but also trauma (jogging, wearing shoes that are too narrow, repeated micro-shocks. ). Wearing compression stockings can also cause problems. “The deformity can occur at any age but orthonyxia is mainly caused in adults. specifies the podiatrist.

What can be the consequences of a deformed nail?

It is not a question of straightening the nail for aesthetic reasons. The deformed nail can potentially create ingrown nails, periungual corns, infections, and be a gateway to fungal infections. “It is impossible to apply orthonyxia on a fungus nail because there is a risk of crumbling.warns the specialist.

How to straighten toenails?

Orthonyxia will restore a normal shape to the nail. The aim of this solution is to exert a constraint on the upper surface of the nail in order to straighten it so that the nail blade is as best positioned as possible, forming a once again physiological curve. “This resembles the principle of orthodontics practiced by dentists”, compare Bruno Salomon. “The installation of the device consists of placing a wire or a strip at the base of the nail to exert a constraint. By following the growth of the nail, the device, little by little, will allow the nail to regain a physiological form”.

There are three types of equipment:

Steel wire staples (nickel-chrome alloy)

The steel wire is fixed using pliers and hooks that are closed. A ring in the middle will give a different resistance. The two small hooks will slide under the nail blade on either side. This historic technique is still used by some professionals.

Titanium wire staples

This is the most commonly used technique today. “You can twist the titanium wire as much as you want, it only wants to return to its initial shape, which allows good stress on the nail. tells us the expert. “The wire will be placed on the nail using two small dental resin studs attached to the base of the nail. In some cases, a resin stud is left with a small opening so that the wire slides into this plot. We cut as we go along to shorten it.”.

Once installed, the device requires regular checks by the podiatrist to check the effectiveness of the wire on the curvature of the nail. “If the wire sticks out too much, it can injure the patient.”, warns Bruno Salomon. The regularity of the check depends on the age of the person and the speed of growth of the nail. On average, a nail grows 3mm per month.

Laminated slats or BS blade

They will be stuck on the nail. They act in the same way as the other two techniques, that is to say under stress to straighten the nail.

What are the contraindications to the installation?

Orthonyxia is not practiced in diabetic people or in cases of arteritis, fungal infections, nails that are too thick or too fragile, or even if the person practices a barefoot sport (martial arts) or a sport requiring the muscles. toes (climbing, dancing, football).

Does orthonyxia cause pain?

No, because there is no offense at the level of flesh or nail. “It is an application on the nail plate which takes no more than a quarter of an hour per nail.reassures the specialist.

Is orthonyxia effective?

Orthonyxia mainly concerns the big toe because it is on it that ingrown toenails most often occur. The size of this nail also allows good efficiency. “Orthonyxia performed on a neighboring toe with smaller nail surfaces would not be very conclusive.”recognizes the expert.

Orthonyxia for how long?

The device is placed by a healthcare professional (pedicurist) on the patient until the nail has completely grown, i.e. 5 or 6 months. “We can live with it normally but we must avoid putting too much emphasis on it when washing or risk tearing it off. advises Bruno Salomon. “These are products of dental origin, designed to be put in the mouth, so there is no risk of degrading them with humidity.

How to remove orthonyxia?

When orthonyxia reaches the tip of the nail, either the podiatrist removes it or it ends up popping off on its own. Sometimes a second application is necessary to consolidate and anchor the correction.

In case of failure, surgery remains indicated.

What prevention?

Orthonyxia will not solve the problem if the external causes remain. It is therefore necessary to eliminate the cause of the nail deformation: pumps that are too high or too tight, wearing compression stockings (if possible, prefer stockings open at the end to leave the toes exposed to the air) . Finally, an annual visit to your podiatrist will help maintain the good health of your feet.

How to perform a nail pedicure?

Remember to cut your nails correctly in the round and not to cut too close to the skin on the sides of the nail.

Care: is the care reimbursed by social security?

Orthonyxia is not reimbursed by social security. Before carrying out the treatment, ask your podiatrist for a quote which you can send to your mutual insurance company. Your contract may provide partial coverage for so-called “well-being” care.

What is the price ?

The price therefore varies from one podiatrist office to another. “The expert is free in his price which explains a significant price range”, recognizes the specialist. “Count between 30 and 80 euros per session. But some professionals offer packages, which can be advantageous.”