Toe Nail Removal Recovery

Gang, anyone have their big toe nail removed? What is the recovery time for this? I’m getting mine permanently removed on Friday. I can’t last longer than 2 hours on my trainer without excruciating pain, and my ingrown is on the sides and in the front. Doc advised to permanently remove it

I got that done years ago. You will be shocked how much better you feel once it is done. I didn’t miss more than that day but listen to the dr.

1 Like

@Critwannabe thank you for your reply. Usually you can see discharge from the ingrown location. You can’t tell by looking at mine. My doc said it’s time for it to go. He didn’t want to go permanent, until I told him about my triathlon hobby, and the Ironman in June. He said to remove it permanently, that way it’s a none-issue. He said the only painful part will be the lidocaine…I hate needles

1 Like

Mine hurt so bad for so long that the minute they ripped it out was instant relief walked out of the office without the limp I walked in with lol

1 Like

The military doc screwed me over big time. He removed the nail, and I asked him for antibiotics and an antibiotic cream, to which he responded, “no, you’ll be fine. Just soak in Epsom salt, and use triple antibiotic.” Fine. Two weeks and three days later, I wound up in the ER due to a horrible infection. The Army doctor walks in and asked me if I took all my antibiotics. He was not happy when I told him the operating doctor refused me drugs. Anyway, was prescribed a heavy antibiotic, and a heavy antibiotic cream. I’m hoping to get back in the water for 70.3 training in two weeks. This has been frustrating. For you folks who need to have this done, do not accept, “no, you’re fine” as an answer for drugs. Although, I’m military, I should have put more pressure on him than simply saying, “okay”, and walking out the door

I had to have my nail on my big toe removed this past February. I think I stubbed my toe pretty good and the next day when I ran it started to separate from my toe. I was able to finish my run that day but did a couple more days of workouts both trainer and running and by the fourth or fifth day I could barely walk because of the pain. It was weird, running was actually less painful than walking and riding the trainer didn’t bother it at all.

I finally decided to call a doctor when I pushed on the nail in the shower and a mixture of blood and plasma squirted out from under the nail.

The removal was not too bad but I hate anything nail related, because those injuries tend to be so painful and this injury was extremely painful. I had myself pretty worked up by the time I went to the doctor.

The doctor shot my toe up with pain killers and took it off. I couldn’t look at my toe after he did it and could barely look at it for the next month. After he removed the nail I went home and drank a bottle plus some of wine to help forget the whole experience but the next day I did a two hour sweet spot workout no problem. Ran the next day and had no problems besides from not being able to look at my toe for a month.

For maintenance, I put antibiotic ointment and anti fungal on it everyday for about two months and kept it wrapped with guaze and that stretchy wrap that sticks to itself. My nail is almost completely grown back but is slightly deformed.

1 Like

@rkeown I’ve had nothing but problems with this nail for past three years. I can usually handle about 100-150 miles until it feels like a knife is stabbing the right side of my left big toe. I thought it was a shoe size issue, so I went up a half-size. That was a no-go. My doc didn’t want to go the permanent route, but he gave me the option. Oh, I couldn’t handle anything more than 90 mins on my trainer, as well. Today, I went 1 hour 45 min pain-free. So far, best decision

1 Like

As someone who struggled with ingrown toenails for two years I feel your pain. I am now in the military myself and treat ingrown toenails frequently. At least from what you are saying if you have had issues with ingrown toenails for three years you are certainly a candidate for permanent removal. Your doctor perhaps didn’t want to go that route because for the procedure to have the best chance of success there should ideally be no inflammation. Once your toe is healed that is something I would readdress with your doctor. With Tricare in order to get things done you often have to be your own advocate. After two years of dealing with ingrown toenails myself I had the nail bed permanently removed and I have had zero issues in 10 years.
On the topic of antibiotics your provider did the correct thing. There is no indication for oral antibiotics when removing a toe nail. That is not to say that complications don’t happen and some people do end up with infections, it’s just not the norm. Hopefully you were instructed on the signs of an infection and what to do if one arises. I only say this because nothing upsets me more that people giving out advise to demand medications, especially antibiotics, when they have no training in the subject.

@jrcoop88 the doc I went to on the army-side told me it is common practice to send the patient out the door with antibiotics and an antibiotic cream…no matter how much that upsets you, a medical doctor advised me of this. Yes, I’ve had no formal training on drugs, but my doctor clearly has

Typically by the time they remove the toenail an infection has set in caused by the toenail. I dont see how a course of antibiotics once it is removed would not be how it is handled? I certainly had them after my removal.

1 Like

@Critwannabe by the sounds of it, it appears @jrcoop88 is a provider of some sort In thr military. With this being said, there’s going to be a difference of opinion. My Air Force doc said “I don’t think so” to antibiotics. The Army doc said, “what was that doc thinking by not giving you drugs?”

1 Like

I, myself, am getting frustrated, because I woke up this am, and the scab came off with the bandage. I put the cream on it before wrapping my foot up. I swear this thing is never going to heal. I’m off to the doc office. Chat with you gents later

This is just how I practice and it is based off of medical literature published in 2017. An ingrown toenail is a foreign body and the treatment is removal of the foreign body. If there is an abscess then treatment with antibiotics is started. But anything short actual purulent discharge coming from the toe they don’t get antibiotics. So even a red, swollen, angry toe with clear drainage doesn’t get antibiotics. We do educate our patient’s to watch for infection after toe nail removal but in the 100+ I have done probably less than 5% who didn’t get antibiotic initially develop an infection in follow-up.

1 Like

Something I can actually share my experience with!

I have the nails removed on both of my big toes, permanently. You’ll feel sweet, sweet relief and be able to go about normal activity within a day. Just keep ointment on the open bed and change the bandages regularly. Soaking will help soothe any discomfort. For me the most painful part were the showers without bandages on during the healing process.