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Sun Jul 13, 2014, 01:56 AM

Ever have an ingrown toenail operated on?

I did yesterday. You'd think I would have no fear of pain after twelve years of being disabled with chronic pain, yet I was! This was my first real surgery and I, at twenty-nine, had to have my mother in the room to help me through my relaxation exercises.

The left side of my right big toe was ingrown and had become infected. These infections were repeated, and it just didn't want to let go this time, so I bit the bullet and went to the podiatrist. So terrified, as I'd mentioned, but my mom was a great help. The podiatrist was also superb. I never felt a thing, not even the shots. This is a lesson that you should not visit Doctor Google ahead of such things; it wasn't like what I'd read.

So, about a quarter of my toenail on one side is gone. I am pretty well immobile (not that I wasn't already with my disability) because I need to keep activity low. Epsom salt foot soak twice a day, no getting it wet in the bathtub - the hardest part since soaks help my usual chronic pain - and wrapping. The gauze wrapping is very elaborate, like something evil sealed away, never to be unleashed upon mankind.

Naturally, I couldn't even watch the procedure, but I will credit the podiatrist again for being so considerate as to my pain levels. However, my mother was kind enough to watch and tell me the details later. She says those instruments must've been sharp, because they cut my nail like a knife through paper. Wuuugh.

Anyway. The maintenance is a pain, and I worry a bit because it still looks rather angry and red. However, it was infected to begin with, and this is only day two after the fact (at least by EST time). Gotta give time for things to relax and the antibiotics I'm on to do their thing.

I welcome contributions to my can't-move-so-can-use-gaming-funds bin. They're the only thing keeping me sane now that I can't even hobble around the house easily!

My first surgery, minor though it was, all told. May it be the last.

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 02:00 AM

1. I did, then I was around 15, and I'd rather go to the dentist 100 times than do that again.

 

Between the needle digging around in there, the cauterizing, and the eventual ripping off of the weird bandage-thing, it was one of my worst experiences

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 07:45 PM

16. Yes. Around the same age

 

as you. It was terrible.

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 02:23 AM

2. I did.

It was back in the early 90's. It was my big toenail on my left foot. I wasn't as lucky as you. The 3 injections they used to numb the toe hurt... a lot. Especially the way he bent the needle into the toe. He removed about a quarter of the nail and the toe was numb for a bit. The doctor wasn't a podiatrist just a GP.

They said to elevate the foot and take my antibiotics and tylenol for the pain...lol. That night I couldn't sleep at all from the pain and just laid in a recliner all night feeling miserable. I didn't have a phone at the time and in the morning I had to hobble about a block to a phone booth to call into work. On the way to the phone a cop was watching me. I think he thought I might have been drunk.

I don't remember much about it anymore. Those bad memories were replaced by my kidney's love for making stones. Having a stent removed from my urethra with what I imagine to have been a plumbers snake with a webcam duct taped to the end has forever been my #1 memory for pain.

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Response to Akoto (Original post)


Response to Akoto (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 05:35 AM

4. I've had both sides of a big toe nail operated on at the same time.

It healed up fantastically. I was given an antibiotic white cream that I placed into the former nail beds on either side that kept it clean. Eventually your toe will adjust to the smaller nail size.

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 07:58 AM

5. Yeah, I only have seven toenails left. Both big ones and one pinky were removed.

 

I watched, but then I'm a sicko. No pain at all.

Do you think I can get a discount if I go to a nail saloon?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #5)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 09:56 AM

8. I don't know about the discount, but I'm gonna be looking for a nail saloon!

Sounds like a cool place to, um, soak things.....

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 09:34 AM

6. Yep. Around 20-odd. After ignoring it for about a year...

... I decided to see if maybe my absolute loathing of doctors was misguided.

The procedure took about ten minutes and I also never felt a thing. I had been mostly worried about how much he would charge me -- it cost 25 bucks (in pre-1980 dollars, but still...). And the relief was enormous all around.

-- Mal

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 09:53 AM

7. I had two done by a podiatrist (relatively painless) and one....

...done by my (former) regular doctor, who likely got his medical license from Dr. Mengele. MOST PAINFUL thing I have ever endured, and that counts root canals. Dang near came out of the chair I was in to assault him to stop. For the next week, the soaking and rebandaging exercises were excruciating. I never went back to that doctor, and even called to tell him why.

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 10:18 AM

9. Glad it went well. My hat is off to the podiatrist.



When I have a patient with an ingrown toenail, I usually remove the entire nail, instead of doing a partial. It allows the entire nail to grow back symmetrically, thereby reducing the risk of recurrence.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #9)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 02:13 PM

12. I go back to see him in two weeks ...

At which point he'll see how things are moving along. I'm worried about the swelling, but my mom thinks it looks better today. As I said, it was infected when I went in, so I also need to keep that in mind. I have health anxiety, so it's easy for my fears to overwhelm my logic.

Anyway. He said that he would try taking just the quarter off for now, and if I resumed having issues, we'd remove the entire nail and (I believe) make it permanent.

As to his performance, he credits the fact that he advances the needle just a bit at a time, injecting a little bit as he goes. That's as opposed to just jamming the needles up there and giving the shot. He also uses this spray called Biofreeze first. Makes it instantly feel like you've had your foot in ice!

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Response to Akoto (Reply #12)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 02:30 PM

13. My dentist injects like that

He told me the trick to making it painless is to numb the outside with a cue tip and then insert the needle just a little bit while injecting and move the needle into the flesh slowly. I never felt a thing. There is no jabbing the needle in and and then rotating it painfully. I love my dentist.

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Response to Akoto (Reply #12)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 08:26 PM

17. Oh yeah. I always use topical anaesthetic before doing a nerve-block.

Patients can get squirrely during a nerve-block. Most of the time, they do all right. Once, though, a patient jerked so hard while the needle was in his toe that it punctured clear through to the opposite side, and gave me a needle-stick.

What a hassle. I had to postpone the procedure, and get all kinds of testing done, HIV, etc.

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 10:38 AM

10. Yes. Both feet. Twice.

When I was 12 years old. All I remember is the pain. To this day I still have a nail that doesn't grow properly, but I don't care because my feet are a mess anyway.

I also had a complication in one foot after the surgery (not related to the original procedure), which had to be dealt with my a podiatrist. All I remember is the pain then, too.

Best wishes for quick healing.

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 12:03 PM

11. Yes. I'm the sort who HATES having my feet touched, much less watching even minor surgery.

I avoided seeing a doctor for an injured big toe and subsequent ingrown toenail for so long I now have a permanently deformed toe. (I guess I'm lucky I wasn't like the great-grandfather mentioned by Jenoch (above) who died of it.

My wife's the sort who will watch as incisions are made and screws removed from her own bones and she has refused general anesthesia for surgeries far worse than that.

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 02:55 PM

14. Had one done about 25 years ago

I watched as my big toe was injected and as it ballooned ou I started feeling light headed and the room started spinning. I told the dr and he said to just look away. I looked away and everything was ok. It was all in my head.

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 07:16 PM

15. I had a complete ingrown toenail removed.

I had to wear one of those boots for a couple of weeks, but I did not feel any pain. The only thing is that the toenail has grown in upside down and I am going to have to have the procedure done again.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #15)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 10:46 PM

18. the nail grew in on the bottom of your toe

I can't picture what you mean.

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Sun Jul 13, 2014, 11:06 PM

19. moms are good at stuff like that

when i had a c-section my mom sat beside me and kept blotting the tears from my eyes. (i was crying because i was so emotional--not in pain--and my arms were strapped down so i couldn't move, and i was so numb with the drugs that i either couldn't blink or the tears wouldn't fall from my eyes. thanks mom!)

hope your toe feels better soon.

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