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Sept 23, 1968

Treatment of Injury To the Root of the Nail

Author Affiliations

Duarte, Calif

JAMA. 1968;205(13):940. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140390064027

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To the Editor:—  Trauma to the root of the nail is commonly followed by subungual hemorrhage which gradually dissects the root of the nail from its bed. This process can be the source of excruciating pain. If the progressive hemorrhage is permitted to compress the nail bed, the growth of the nail is interrupted and several months of discomfort and inconvenience during regrowth of the nail can be anticipated.The pain of acute subungual hemorrhage is commonly treated by decompression of the nail bed, by cutting or drilling through the nail. However, facilities or personnel for the performance of this painful procedure are seldom immediately available.I have found on two occasions that the pain can be relieved immediately, and subungual dissection can be stopped, by elevating the hand as high as possible and maintaining the hand in this position for about 30 minutes. Elevation of the hand reduces the