BACKGROUND: The most commonly used treatment for subungual hematomas is nail trephination, a technique that is not standardized and that poorly controls for trephination depth. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to test the safety and tolerance of a new device for nail trephination that uses innovative "mesoscission" or microcutting technology to create holes of specific depths in the nail plate without penetrating the nail bed. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fourteen adult subjects with healthy toenails had five holes drilled in a random single-blind fashion at different test settings into their right great toenail with this device and were assessed for pain and pressure tolerance as well as perioperative and postoperative complications. RESULTS: Nail trephination with this device in this small pilot study was controlled and well tolerated. LIMITATIONS: The study population was small (n=14) and the follow-up evaluation relied on patient self-report, which is not always reliable. The follow-up period was only 1 week and did not allow for evaluation of permanent nail plate deformity. CONCLUSION: Mesoscission may be a controlled and practical alternative to traditional nail trephining methods.
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