Matricectomy and nail ablation

Hand Clin. 2002 Nov;18(4):693-6, viii; discussion 697. doi: 10.1016/s0749-0712(02)00038-0.


Matricectomy refers to the complete extirpation of the nail matrix, resulting in permanent nail loss. Usually however, matricectomy is only partial, restricted to one or both lateral horns of the matrix. Nail ablation is the definitive removal of the entire nail organ. The most important common denominator in the successful matricectomy is the total removal or destruction of the matrix tissue. Matricectomy may be indicated for the management of onychauxis, onychogryphosis, congenital nail dystrophies, and chronic painful nail, such as recalcitrant ingrown toenail or split within the medial or lateral one-third of the nail.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Caustics / therapeutic use
  • Electrosurgery / methods
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods
  • Nails, Ingrown / therapy*
  • Phenol / therapeutic use
  • Sclerosing Solutions / therapeutic use
  • Sodium Hydroxide / therapeutic use


  • Caustics
  • Sclerosing Solutions
  • Phenol
  • Sodium Hydroxide