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Toe nail surgery - how long does recovery take?

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Toe nail surgery - how long does recovery take?

Postby Nikman » Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:40 pm

I have been taken off a stripe of my right foot's big toe nail this Monday. The nail was growing into the flesh and causing pain and infection before. :cry:

Guess this is a common thing for foot-active people, at least my doctor said that. :wink:

Now it's Thursday evening and once I place my foot below my heart I still have severe pain. I doped myself up with painkillers for some days already, but that can't be the solution and I don't like chemical medication in general, but that kind of pain gave me no choice. :evil:

Can anybody, who had the same surgery, tell me how long this kind of surgery takes until someone is out of pain again and how long it might take until I will be able to ski again?
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Re: Toe nail surgery - how long does recovery take?

Postby Pivvay » Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:58 pm

Nikman wrote:I have been taken off a stripe of my right foot's big toe nail this Monday. The nail was growing into the flesh and causing pain and infection before. :cry:

Guess this is a common thing for foot-active people, at least my doctor said that. :wink:

Now it's Thursday evening and once I place my foot below my heart I still have severe pain. I doped myself up with painkillers for some days already, but that can't be the solution and I don't like chemical medication in general, but that kind of pain gave me no choice. :evil:

Can anybody, who had the same surgery, tell me how long this kind of surgery takes until someone is out of pain again and how long it might take until I will be able to ski again?


I had the same problem and I remember being off my feet for a couple weeks from anything fun. Normally I push recovery pretty hard but this problem sucks and I didn't have much choice but to wait or it would get infected (again).
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Postby Travis_ » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:01 pm

I am battling an ingrown toenail right now. In the past they healed themselves, but I am not sure this time. They say if you cut your toenail straight across it will help prevent it from occuring. I have been soaking mine in salt water and I am hoping it is OK enough to hike this weekend (Rabbit/Villager/Rosa Point in the Santa Rosa mnts, SoCal).

but I want to avoid surgery if at all possible...
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Postby Roam Around » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:44 pm

i had that surgery a few years back - seems like a week and a half or so was required. You might push it to less, but it'll be tender for several days.

Good luck - it hurt like hell right before i had it fixed - felt better immediately.
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Re: Toe nail surgery - how long does recovery take?

Postby Uncleman » Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:56 am

Nikman wrote:Can anybody, who had the same surgery, tell me how long this kind of surgery takes until someone is out of pain again and how long it might take until I will be able to ski again?


The amount of pain is going to depend on the individual, and the invasiveness of the surgery. A week and a half sounds about right for procedures that I have seen; but that is a week and a half before the pain is bearable for day-to-day walking.

One thing to consider with surgery to the foot is the possibility of infection. You are going to want to give the area plenty of time to heal before you introduce it to pushing/pulling/dirt and most importantly ~ sweat. Taking the time now to heal might prevent future problems that may last much, much longer and be more painful.

Nikman wrote: I don't like chemical medication in general


Tequila is a time honored tradition for combating this very problem. :wink:
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Postby camerona91 » Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:07 am

When I had it done I remember it just being uncomfortable to walk for a few days. LIke the poster above said, the real concern is with infection. If you feel a lot of pain from the area it could be infected. I always found that the infection was worse than the actual pain of the toenail (both before and after the surgery).

On a related note, do you think ingrown toenails are somewhat genetic. My brother and I have both had lots of problems with them, even when we carefully cut our toe nails. I think we both have quite fleshy bits around the toe nail, which is part of the reason we get them so much. I try to maintain my toenails very carefully, but sometimes they still grow in... Any other inputs?
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Postby hasue » Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:07 am

On a related note, do you think ingrown toenails are somewhat genetic. My brother and I have both had lots of problems with them, even when we carefully cut our toe nails. I think we both have quite fleshy bits around the toe nail, which is part of the reason we get them so much. I try to maintain my toenails very carefully, but sometimes they still grow in... Any other inputs?[/quote]

I agree with the inherited bit about ingrowns, I can remember my grandmother not having many toenails, my dads got them and snowboarding has aggrevated mine. My doc said the nail shape and the pressure of my boots were the main cause and to cut them straight across. I had one removed this summer and after 4 weeks I was hiking through trout streams again, but I really had to keep it clean for it to heal. Id say about 2 weeks of very tender toe pain and then you just gotta keep it clean so it can heal properly. Follow doctors orders about the medicine too.
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Postby MJY » Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:33 am

I've had this done more than once on each big toe. The first times I just had the doc cut out a hunk of nail, and it hurt enough that I didn't do anything too serious for a week or so. This solved the problem for a few months, but eventually it was ingrown again. So I went back and had it cut out again, and also had the doctor scrape out part of the nailbed to keep it from growning back on the side. The recovery time for this was probably a week or so before walking normally didn't hurt a little and few weeks before I was back to 100%. If this is a recurring problem for you, I definitely think having the nailbed scraped is the way to go. Hurts like hell for a little bit, but it can eliminate the problem.

I think it must be at least part genetic as my dad and uncle have had this problem as well. My cousin got a nasty ingrown nail while in Ecuador and had to cut it out herself. Ouch.
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Postby mrCrane » Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:06 am

I've had this surgery on both sides of both big toe nails. One more recently this year. I experienced minimal pain by the time the anasthetics wore off, and was walking next day with minimal discomfort. I think you should not be experiencing that much discomfort at this point in the healing process. If it were me, I would call the doc and ask him if that is normal.
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Toenails of dearth

Postby verdeleone » Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:42 am

Er, death, i,ve had troo much busgmills tonight. Nice though, drinking the juice of the barlry wit the inlaws.

Aright - i had the fooking toenail surgry onct when I wAS a young runner soocer plar etc. Asshol in other words, The old doctor told me after that to cut me toenails in a Vee shape toward the middle. I've never had a toenail surgery since. Although when I was taking girly flower pictures in the Alps onct I had a Swiss girl tell me I had some "wild-ass toenails" but otherwise she seemed quite content.

V
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Postby Nikman » Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:38 pm

Thanks for all your comments so far. Feels good to share.
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Postby MoapaPk » Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:59 pm

Nikman wrote:Thanks for all your comments so far. Feels good to share.

I see you finally took the pills!
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Postby Yeti » Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:11 pm

Surgery? I had my big toe ripped out of my foot by a rough fromed peice of steel once, but I wouldn't call it surgery.

Recovery time is what every it will be, you're going to make it worse by trying to speed it up. Mine took months before I could function normally. I remember the simple joy of pulling the wrap one day and noticing the tiny nail beginning to firm up.... I feel a bit woosy thinking about that, actually, the whole things was an unpleasent experience. The most painfull part for me was the nightly soakings in cold water and betadyne, it was the only unbearable physical pain I've ever experienced in my life.

Your big toe is very important, and it's imperitive that you stay off of it untill it's firmed back up. Even after the wounds are done, you should still wait for a fully formed nail, otherwise alot of activity may press it in and make it ingrown. I already have a tendancy to ingrow mine, so i just stopped cutting them so far back. The nail that formed in place of the lost one is...different. It's thicker, and seems to be a bit wavy. I probably damaged the cuticle.
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Postby e-doc » Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:08 pm

I had an ingrown nail last fall. At the clinic I numbed my toe, split the nail and pulled the medial side out. Then dressed it (I thought you would like details) and went back to work. I think I took Ibuprofen and was riding my bike the next day. I also billed my insurance company. No complications or I'd have to sue myself! :D
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Postby avalanch » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:44 pm

I have an appt. next Monday to go in and my big toenail removed, keep getting ingrown toenails over and over again so I decided to have the Dr. just remove it. Question I assume the worst part of this is the numbing before the Dr. starts to work. How bad is that part, and after that is it painless and just pressure you feel when they pull the toenail off? I have watched youtube videos and it seems like once they numb the toe they take the nail off in a matter of minutes, so I guess it doesn't take that long. Just a little nervous but I am sure it will be all good. Thanks for any input...:)
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