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Removal of Toe Nails

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Removal of Toe Nails

Postby wingding » Sat Aug 05, 2006 9:34 am

Well, the podiatrist removed one of my big toe nails yesterday and killed the root. Once this one heals, he's going to take the other big toe nail off. I've lost them a number of times and they became disformed and have caused me nothing but pain and sorrow. The podiatrist took one look at them and said the only solution is to remove them permanently. I'm hoping for pain-free big toes after I'm all done, but no hiking for at least a week after each one comes off, so I might wait until September to have the second one done.

Has anyone else had their toe nails removed permanently? The podiatrist said that it is common and he often removes a number of toenails every day.



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Postby fedak » Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:39 pm

I've thought about doing this.

I've black toed and lost both big toenails a couple times in the last few years and one extremely painful infected ingrown toenail. If they get ingrown again, they're coming off.
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Postby giantbrookie » Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:34 am

I have been told by doctors that you can remove a diseased toenail but there is no guarantee it won't grow back in a diseased state. By "removing the roots" does this mean that nothing grows back?


The most common form of toe nail deformity is supposed to be this fungus that is supposed to be pretty hard to get rid of (standard treatment, I recall is some kind of potent orally ingested drug, plus the toenail removal). Because of the complications noted by my doctors I have refrained from having any of my diseased nails removed. For me the fungus results in toenails that don't grow back correctly after they've been smushed and come off. My toenails then to start coming in one atop the other, building this horrid, thick, multilayered thing that looks more like a claw than a toenail. My first toenail to get like this was the little one on right foot which was like this since I was about 10. I remember my dad calling it the "claw nail". The biggest problem has been the big toe on my left foot which apparently ended up with the fungus sometime in the 90's after having lost it about 5 times in the course of several years (several times stubbing it playing hoops, and several times as a result of boot problems hiking). That nail now needs constant shaving and chipping otherwise I get "roofed out" in my boots because it gets so thick. Since then a couple of other nails have come down with this thing, and they cause constant issues with the fit of my boots.

Anyhow, I'll be interested to hear how things go for you--especially down the road a year or more.
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Postby yosemitechris » Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:26 am

The oral drug - Sporanox or its generic - aren't too bad and do seem to work for nail fungus. Also oral Lamisil. Sometimes insurance will pay for it, which is worth looking into because it is expensive out-of-pocket. They also say filing down the nails and putting on Vicks Vaporub works too - and it's cheap.
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Postby wingding » Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:37 pm

The podiatrist cut the toe nail out and then used a chemical to burn the root so that the toe nail will never grow back. I went back to the potiatrist on friday and he said one more week before I can hike - the toe is still a bit sore and needs to heal more. He gave me the okay to ride my bike, so I've been working on some of the hills around my house.

The big toe nail he took off did have fungus and it was disformed. The podiatrist said the big toe nails would cause me pain the rest of my life if I kept them. The other big toe nail is just disformed (no fungus) and wants to grow into my toe, so that one is coming off in September.

The podiatrist has lots of running magazines in his waiting room, so he must deal with a lot of runners. He said that he takes several toe nails off every day.
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Postby wingding » Tue Aug 15, 2006 4:55 pm

I'm ready to try out my new hiking sandals. I just have to make sure to keep the dirt off my toe until it heals up more.
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Postby ERIC » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:29 pm

Good luck!



Been folowing your story quite closely - since I too have similar foot probs.
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Postby doug395 » Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:57 pm

Kathy, I had surgery on my big toe in January, I had a third of the nail removed and the root cut out. It took about three weeks before I could wear shoes, I’m so glad I had it done for pain free down hill hiking.
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Postby wingding » Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:13 pm

Doug - It's nice to hear that it worked out well for you. The podiatrist keeps telling me it will be worth it.
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Postby wingding » Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:46 pm

I took a short 2 hour hike near my house in hiking boots today and my toe without a nail felt better than the one that still has the disformed nail on it. I think I'm ready to head out with my boots on this coming weekend.

On Sept 13th I get my the other big toe nail removed, so I'll be starting the whole process over again.
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