Treatment of an Uncomplicated Subungual Hematoma
A painless and small subungual hematoma usually requires no treatment. However, the pressure generated by pooled blood under the nail can be extremely painful. To relieve the pain, doctors perform decompression, also called trephination, which allows the underlying blood to drain, relieving pressure and pain to the area.
After numbing the affected finger or toe with a nerve block, doctors commonly use several decompression methods to drain a subungual hematoma:
- Cautery. A heated wire (electrocautery device) is used to burn the hole or holes during a painless procedure that takes only a few seconds.
- Paper-clip method. A heated paper clip is placed over the center of the hematoma to melt a hole into the nail.
- Needle. A large-diameter needle is used to perforate the nail.
SOURCE: WebMD Medical Reference