ABSTRACT

BASIC ANATOMY The nail apparatus is an integral part of one of the most important organs, the tip of the digit. It forms a functional unit with the digital pulp, which is extremely richly innervated and serves as the most important tactile tool, with the bone of the terminal phalanx, which gives support to the pulp and carries the nail, with the distal interphalangeal joint with its tendons and ligaments, and with all the nerves, especially sensory nerves and receptors, and blood vessels supplying the distal phalanx. In fact, almost all ectodermal and mesodermal tissues can be found in the nail apparatus: skin, connective tissue, bone, joint, synovial membrane, ligaments, tendons, tendon sheaths, arteries, veins, lymphatic vessels, glomus bodies, nerves, specialized nervous end organs, fat, etc. They are interrelated in a unique fashion (1). In-depth knowledge of the anatomy of the nail apparatus and distal phalanx is a prerequisite for sound nail surgery.