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glashalful

Toenail Removal

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glashalful

Ok, gross subject, but I'm having my left great toenail removed Thursday, and I'm a little afraid. This is not a permanent removal -- it is expected to grow back in 3-6 months (closer to 3 if my typical growth continues). Anyone have this done? Any tips or advice?

 

TIA

 

Elizabeth

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kgm0612

Good Luck! I've never had that procedure done, but my non-diabetic son ( he's 20) had it done last summer. He was in a little bit of discomfort the first few days, but after that, he was fine.

 

Karen

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rzrbks

Besure to have Dr. arrange for you have good protection for it. I think you'll be surprised at how often you use your toe in ordinary daily life and you'll be surprised at how sensitive it will be.

 

 

And since we're talking about sensitivity here, be sure and talk to it and make it feel "Normal" and not noticable or ugly-------the last thing you'll need at this point is a great toe that is moody, sulks or spends all it's time crying :rofl: :rofl:

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ClaireZk

Ok, this is gross, but I dropped a can of paint on my foot last year and the big toenail cracked and broke about 90% off. It was bleeding all over the place and I wasn't sure if the toe was broken so I had to rip the rest of the nail off myself. It was "white pain." It hurt so bad I almost passed out, but then it went numb quickly.

 

It was sore for about a week and I couldn't stand wearing shoes and socks. I had to wear flip flops in the snow :T

 

BUT, the toenail started growing back right away. It only took a few months for it to look normal again.

 

My advice is take something (anything!) for the pain ahead of time and ask if they can numb the area. If you can tolerate painkillers, I would ask the Dr for something stronger just for the first night. It's not terrible pain, it will just be sore and uncomfortable.

 

Good luck!

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Keezheekoni

The most pain you will be in is when they numb your toe. The shots are painful when they first go in... I watched them remove mine, but I love watching medical procedures! If you are getting it removed for ingrown nail problems, ask if they can just remove the ingrown part, rather than the whole nail, then put in the acid so that the nail won't grow back on the edges. This worked better for me, since I first had the whole nail removed and they didn't put the acid in...when the nail grew back, it just grew back ingrown as well. The next time, I had a podiatrist who knew what he was doing and just clip out the ingrown part, plus a bit, put in the acid and I've been a happy person ever since!

 

When the numbing meds wear off, be sure that you've taken a vicodin or something similar...it's going to throb like crazy! Also, be sure that you follow the soaking instructions properly. That will definitely speed the healing process. :)

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Cyborg

I agree that the needles used for numbing hurt more than the actual removal. I also watched mine. I had my entire large toenail removed and was taught how to cut my toenails to avoid further problems. Haven't any more problems in over 20 years. Recovery isn't all that fun, but at least it grows back... Good luck!

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JasonJayhawk

It's nice to know I'm not the only one with "achilles toes."

 

I've had this done before I was a T1 diabetic. I'm assuming you're having your nail removed because of an ingrown toenail?

 

The most painful part is the pain killer. If your doctor is good, she or he will spray your toe with some "cold stuff" that will make the injection less painful.

 

"Don't look" is good advice if you're like me.

 

If you're having an ingrown toenail treated, acetic acid can be used to kill the nail root in certain places (or all). There is another procedure where a laser is used, but it isn't any better than acetic acid, and can actually "miss" part of the root bed.

 

When the nail grows in, keep an eye on it. Ask the doc for signs of what you should do when returning -- if it grows in the wrong way, catching it early before it becomes "ingrown" again can be the difference between pain and happiness!

 

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Dewey
The most pain you will be in is when they numb your toe.

The shots are painful when they first go in...

Ouch! Amen to that! :eek2: I'd also venture to say that the shots are by far the most painful part....it's just 'cause there's not much of a place for the fluid (Lidocaine) to go and because we have a lot of nerve endings around there. When they gave me the shots, I just squeezed my hands together. Sometimes, things like that help to divert your mind from what's being done (shots) at the moment.

 

I watched them remove mine, but I love watching medical procedures! If you are getting it removed for ingrown nail problems, ask if they can just remove the ingrown part, rather than the whole nail, then put in the acid so that the nail won't grow back on the edges. This worked better for me, since I first had the whole nail removed and they didn't put the acid in...when the nail grew back, it just grew back ingrown as well. The next time, I had a podiatrist who knew what he was doing and just clip out the ingrown part, plus a bit, put in the acid and I've been a happy person ever since!

We could pass for sisters or something! I too, am fascinated with watching medical procedures, both my own and those of other people, lol!

 

On the nail removal, they did the same for me....just removed the left portion of the nail (the edge that was ingrown), put the acid on it, and it's been fine ever since.

Also, be sure that you follow the soaking instructions properly. That will definitely speed the healing process. :)

I agree here. Elizabeth, just be sure to follow instructions, as it will indeed aid in a quicker, more sound recovery.

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condensr

I've had the partial nail removal (Matrixectomy) done on both my great toes. I have a great podiatrist.. He had a couple things to to help with the discomfort of the anesthetic injection-

First, he hooked up a tens unit (electrical pads go on the top and bottom of foot, then you (the patient) turn up the juice slowly (like as in over 10-15 minutes or so), and it confuses the nerves so feeling below the electrodes is greatly reduced. When you turn it up really slowly, all you ever feel is a tingle.)

 

Second, he used the freeze spray and went very slowly with the needle.

 

The first time I had one done, I had delayed doing anything about the ingrown nail for quite awhile. The toe itself hurt badly enough that the procedure was nothing; a relief actually.

 

 

So far, I haven't had any issues with those toes since.

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ant hill
Ok, gross subject, but I'm having my left great toenail removed Thursday, and I'm a little afraid.

Liz, Please can i give you a hug. :(

This is not a permanent removal -- it is expected to grow back in 3-6 months (closer to 3 if my typical growth continues).
That sould make you happy liz so it's not all bad news. :)
Anyone have this done? Any tips or advice?

TIA

 

Elizabeth

No but the thought of it makes me cringe so ((((HUGZ TO YOU LIZ)))).

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lgvincent

I've been having problems with the nail on the right big toe for several years now and it has been suggested to me that I have it removed. I was told it would not grow back so that's why I haven't done it.

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glashalful

Thanks for all the advice and caring, everyone! It's being removed due to a fungus that wouldn't respond to oral medication. He said there's a topical that would work on this type of fungus, but because the toe was so distorted (curled) I would continue to have ingrown toenails during the 6 month process, and it was likely the new growth would follow the same pattern of distortion, and therefore be fungus-free, but still cause ingrown edges. There are permanent removal processes, but I didn't want that, and he didn't discuss it with me. I'm disappointed to be toenail-less during the summer sandal season, but trying to find large, colorful bandaids that will at least be fun and hide the ugliness. I'll post again in the next few days to give an update.

 

Thanks again!

 

Elizabeth

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Scarlett

My sister had a toenail prob and she used the painted press on nails during sandal season-seemed to work for her-hope you're ok!

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glashalful

Well, the toenail is gone! At the risk of being long-winded, I'll tell you what all happened, so it's on here for others to research in the future.

 

The shots were, indeed, the worst part. They do use the freeze spray, which I'm sure helped a lot (never had it done without, so I don't know for sure -- at least it eased my mind some!) Three shots total, one between the first and second toes, one on top of the first toe, and one on the other side of the first toe. (That last one bruised, but maybe only because I jumped.) After numbing, the removal process only took maybe 10 minutes (wasn't watching the clock -- was staring at a picture far away from what was going on at the end of the table!) (Note to xMenace: sorry, no video!!! ; )) There was a lot of pressure, and I felt certain I'd feel pain, but never did. The whole "permanent removal of the edges" thing came up, but I refused it -- want to try to save the whole nail (vanity, I know) -- hoping I don't have to go through it again because of that.

 

They had told me I could wear my regular shoe out of there, but the wrapping was so large, there was no way. The wrapping had to stay on for 24 hours (for bleeding purposes only, and it did bleed all the way through the bandage in three places), so I had to wear a sock to bed to protect the linens, and a Birkenstock to work the next day (thankfully it was "casual Friday"). The pressure was incredibly uncomfortable, particularly at the base of the "nail". When I put my foot down, I felt pressure on the top of the toe, which seemed odd to me, but I bet it was from the bandage. The pressure got worse as the day wore on, but my foot was still numb -- maybe some of that was from a tight bandage? I don't know. Anyway, the instructions were to take the bandage off 24 hours later, and I was thrilled to do that, but of course, it was stuck (I know, it's gross!) Took a little work, very slowly, but I got it off. I had to wrap it again immediately, though, because I had to go to the symphony that night. Now there was a trick! What shoes to wear for evening that wouldn't kill me! Turns out that the really, really pointy ones that are all the rage now work great! You wouldn't think that, but they gave me the extra room I needed in the tip of my toe for the bandage. I'm not sure I should have been walking so much, though, because it seemed to start the bleeding up again, but not too bad. That, of course, made that bandage stick again -- geez, I hate that!

 

It's been seeping ever since it quit bleeding, but they say that's fine unless the discharge becomes thick and yellow. They also said air is the best thing for it, so I've been walking around with only one sock on, which is kind of weird. I had to cover it up today to go out, but I was able to find some cute bandaids that were big enough -- knee and elbow bandages for kids, and the adhesive kept it on all day, even though the ends didn't meet around the bottom of my toe.

 

The worst part now is that the nail bed is extremely sensitive. I'm not sure how to describe it, except it's kind of like fingernails on a chalkboard, times ten! Almost like painful, but not?? If that makes sense! They wanted me to take 800 mg Motrin every 8 hours for the first 24 hours for swelling, then as needed after that. They also gave me 5 Vicadin, but I haven't needed those at all (which is a good thing, since I get all weird on pain medication).

 

So, for all you needing to do this in the future, here's my advice:

 

1) Try to have 48 hours of not wearing shoes at all -- there's just not enough room.

 

2) If you can do the above, then probably you can also avoid much walking. The more you move around, the more you risk bumping your toe (you'd be surprised how many times in a day you do it, but don't notice because it's not sensitive to that).

 

3) Ask ahead for the freeze spray -- it probably only helps the initial needle prick, but the shots really are the worst of it, and anything helps!

 

All in all, it really sounds worse than it is! I hope this "post-mortem" is helpful to others in the future. Thanks again for all the advice and kind thoughts -- you guys are great!

 

Elizabeth

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JasonJayhawk

Thanks for the post-mortum! I wish I had been able to read something about it before I had it done. I honestly wish I had taken care of my toe earlier. The only reason I did it was because my girlfriend (now wife) had threatened to tell my parents if I didn't take care of it (after years of hiding it from her). Now I only wish I had it done years before. (I didn't have Type 1 diabetes at the time--I was a college student who had ingrown toenails since I was six years old, and had too many "bathroom surgeries" by my dad who attempted to fix them himself by having my brother hold me down -- I guess that kind of trauma made me fearful of getting it fixed.)

 

I had the entire nail removed, permanently. Years later, whenever I bump that toe, I still cringe, preparing for that "acid-injection-like feeling" of a nail biting in to my toe -- but there is no pain now! 10+ years of on and off problems had just conditioned me to expect pain.

 

Now, when that toe gets "tickled", it's the most sensitive part of my body -- it was so use to pain that simply rubbing it feels good. An analogy is like rubbing a Ferrengi's ears... for me, it's my big toe!

 

I still had flashback memories of the stress of that event when I read your post-mortum, but I'm so glad I had it done, too.

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ladytaz

Well, I'm glad it's done and overwith, and that you aren't too uncomfortable! No matter, it's something I NEVER wanna go thru! I have EXTREMELY sensitive feet!! I'd probably pass right out! LOL

 

Now, take care of that toe, and be careful not to bump it! ;)

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lgvincent

Sunday night in the dark I kicked the flashlight I keep near the bed (it's 3,000,000 candlepower with a pretty big battery). I didn't kick it with the toe, I kicked it with the toe nail that's giving me so much trouble. It bled like crazy for a while and is now sort of purple. I wonder if it is going to come off again. I wouldn't mind it coming off and growing back normal but I've been having trouble with this thing ever since it grew back the last time. I don't want to have it removed if it won't grow back.

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babs2000

The nail will grow back as long as they don't use a chemical(phenol) on it to kill the root of the nail. I work for 2 podiatrists and have seen this done many times. The easiet thing to do is use a surgery shoe after the procedure. I hope that you are going to a podiatrist to have this done. Beth

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