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A Tale Of A Toe: A True Story

Posted Nov 30 2008 12:15pm

One needle, ten shots, a pair of scissors, one pair of pliers, and 45 minutes later my toe was fixed with a little minor toe surgery! This sounds like one awesome experience, that is if you like pain. But for most of us, we could possibly think of 100 different things we could find better to do with our time. This is a story of why we should take care of our feet before it becomes too late.

I’ve had a history of ingrown toenails but never one I could not take out myself with a little careful maneuvering and trimming. Two weekends ago, I started having extreme pain in my right big toe with some bleeding and swollenness. I noticed that it had become infected and needed a little doctor’s attention. Come Monday, I sought help from my good friend who just happens to be a doctor for some advice. With the help of some prescription anti-biotics, the infection went down but the toe nail was still ingrown. Tuesday morning rolled around and I thought it was time to take further matters and just have that part of the nail removed. 

After prep, he proceeded with the needles into my toe (sides, top, bottom) with about nine all together (worst part) because it would not fully numb with the first dose. I learned that after he started pulling on the nail which caused some extreme pain! With the toe numb, he took his pliers and began pulling the nail out from underneath the skin, not a pretty site. He then cut the toe nail the entire length up to the cuticle, which amounted to about 1/3 of my nail. Grasping the pliers once more, he pulled the cut piece completely off the toe and dug out the remaining few fragments still lodged into the skin. After using a walking boot the last two days, I completed my first run and workout session as I was able to finally get my foot into a running shoe. The nail should fully grow back in about a year and back to normal!

The moral of this story is to really take care of our feet and practice proper nail cutting techniques and hygiene. 



- Cut the nails straight across; do not round edges or cut to short.

- Soak feet in warm, soapy water if ingrown nails do occur.  Once skin has loosened, then carefully try to lift the ingrown portion from underneath the skin.

- Once lifted above the skin, take a cotton ball and roll very thinly and slide underneath that portion of nail to allow for it to grow out.

- Wear properly fitted shoes

- If infection occurs or condition worsens, seek proper medical attention.

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