Here’s a sight we bet you’ve never seen before: a fingernail with a mini-Wolverine claw poking out of it.
You're not the only one who is seeing this medical phenomenon for the first time — doctors working on the case were equally surprised. Writing in the International Journal of Surgery Open, the doctors explained that this is an “extremely rare” and “unique case” of a double nail found on the middle finger of a 28-year-old man in Pakistan.
He headed to a hospital in the city of Bahawalpur complaining of a strange growth on his fingernail that was causing him some discomfort. An X-ray of his hand showed nothing too unusual and he reported no previous history of trauma or infection to the finger. There was also no family history of such a problem.
On further inspection, the growth was inseparable from the nail bed and made out of keratin, the tough stuff that your nails and skin are made out of. This indicated the growth was actually a rare case of a double fingernail.
A double nail of the middle finger is practically unheard of in the medical world. Double nails on the toes have been described by medical case reports on at least four occasions. The researchers note that they are probably a lot more common than this, but patients rarely report them because they are embarrassed, it causes no harm, or they simply don't even notice it.
"Most cases are incidentally detected and only a few patients seek help because they have discomfort and pain or cosmetic reasons,” the study authors explain.
The solution to the 28-year-old’s problem nail – get ready to cringe a little – was to surgically remove the accessory nail (image below). After it was pulled out under local anesthetic, the nail was found to be around 1 centimeter long.
The operation all went to plan and he was as good as new after a week. All’s well that ends well, I guess.