Yesterday, I saw a patient who came in to FINALLY have his ingrown nail surgically removed. After 5-6 years of doing his own “bathroom surgery,” he gave in. This time a piece broke off that he couldn’t get. Time to put away the needle nose pliers! He’s heard the horror stories about how painful it was to numb the toe. I’d like to put that fear to rest.
Podiatrists numb a toe differently then most family physicians or pediatricians. We don’t cause near as much pain, thus it’s a much more pleasant experience. I’ve heard the horror stories as well. Patients tell me all the time how much better it was as opposed to their family doctor. I use a spray to freeze the skin so you don’t feel the needle stick, but the medicine can burn a little when the medication goes in. Honestly, that’s the most uncomfortable part. By the way, I also don’t stick the needle right into the skin around the ingrowing nail.
The nail, or portion of nail is removed, and the toe is wrapped when the patient leaves the office. There are very few restrictions–you can wear shoes, run, shower, etc. after the procedure. There is some aftercare that needs to be done, but the toe will feel much, much better.
It’s not as bad as some people think or have heard about it. I’m a BIG wimp when it comes to needles, and I think I could handle this. I did handle this because when learning how to numb a toe, we had to do it to each other and I survived. It certainly provides a long-term solution to your problem.