The apical space lies between the distal part of a patient's nail and the bone of his distal phalanx. It may be infected when a splinter runs under his nail. His finger is painful, but there is little swelling. Tenderness is greatest at or just under the free edge of his nail. Cut a small ''V' out of the edge of the nail over the point of greatest tenderness, as in C, and D, Fig. 8-2. Remove the full thickness of the skin as a small wedge, and drain the pus.