Key laceration (cut nail bed)

Hands | General Practice | Key laceration (cut nail bed) (Disease)


A key laceration involves the nail and the nail bed underneath. It can range from a bruise under the nail to separation of the nail from the nail bed. They can be complex wounds to repair. Permanent deformity to the nail can result, even after proper repair.

Symptoms include pain, bleeding, a laceration that extends into the nail.

Causes and Risk factors

Most injuries to the nail arise from crushing forces, such as hammers, doors slamming on fingers, human bites, or machinery, slicing or cutting, such as knives, box cutters, or machinery, tearing or ripping, such as stubbing a toe or catching a fingernail on an object.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Basic wound care is the same for all nail injuries. The wound is cleaned so that the doctor can examine it more closely. A tetanus shot will be given if it has been longer than five years since your last one.

If a repair is needed, the finger or toe will be numbed up prior to starting work. This is usually done by injecting medicine at the bottom of the finger or toe. ...