Monday, November 30, 2009

The Story of my Ingrown Nail

*WARNING: This post contains some extremely gross pics*

I've made the links clickable, so you don't have to see the pics unless you want to. I've also tried to make the pictures pretty small so they won't be too shocking. I have the large versions saved, and they are very detailed....

I recently had surgery for an ingrown nail, and since that seems like a pretty common problem; I figured I'd share my story, so others know what to expect.

The story starts about 4 months ago when I suddenly started getting ingrown toe nails. I'd never had an ingrown nail before, and I wasn't wearing new shoes or anything like that. Weird. Anyway, one of them just wouldn't go away (I named it Stinky since it didn't smell very nice):


As you can see, the cuticle has sort of dissolved and the area around the nail is infected.


After a couple of months I went to my doctor who referred me to an orthopeadic surgeon. He performed a surgery where he cut a small slice of the nail and then continued the cut down to the nail matrix where he removed a piece. This will cause the nail to grow our more narrow in the future.


Yes, I should have redone my pedi before the surgery, but I was in pain, dammit!

The surgery was completely painless (local anastesia injected using a VERY large syringe OUCH), but it hurt like hell in the days after. For the first couple of days I pretty much couldn't move at all, and sleep was completely impossible. Seriously, it hurt a lot. Just saying so. The skin under the bandage was hurting a lot too. I later found out I'd had an allergic reaction to the bandage.

After 5 days I was allowed to take off the bandages. The skin under the bandages was covered in little blisters which hurt and itched.


It took a few days before I got my courage up to remove all of the bandage. There has been quite a bit of blood and I wasn't allowed to wash the toe, which made it very difficult. Unfortunately some of the skin came off with the bandage because of the allergic reaction.


Because there is only one stich (not really possible to sew in the nail); the toes started to bleed quite easily.

This is from the day after I took off the bandage.


After 12 days I went and got the stiches removed. That was pretty painless.

It's now a month since the surgery, and it almost doesn't hurt anymore


As you can see, there is still some redness and bruising, but I think my poor toe will turn out fine.

I'll still have to see if they will get my of the problem in the future. If it does, I might consider getting the other toe fixed (yes, apparently I've already forgotten how much it hurt!)


21 comments:

Brooke said...

Oh my goodness that looks like that hurts!!! I am eating lunch and looking at your puss (was going to add a y but I didn't think I could spell the word I wanted, lol) & bloody toes and yet my lunch tastes just fine, lol - there must be something wrong with me! :)

KrystalBall said...

Wow, I wish my surgery was that simple. I had the kind under general (at 14) anesthesia where they open the skin over the matrix and put the chemical on it to keep the nail from growing back...Well the nail grew back LOL and it gets ingrown too. :P So at almost 26, I'm looking at having it AGAIN *cries* But at least I got good painkillers the last time. And a wedge pillow is your best friend. Keep the foot above the head as much as possible. :D

PolishPig said...

I feel for you, I have been through exactly the same procedure (but I cleaned the wound up afterwards, and I think the advice of not touching the bandage was wrong, but obviously, practice varies..)

Actually, I really do know something about these things and I think your toe looks very good now. Often, the nail will grow straight and nice afterwards.

If you are unlucky, there might be a residue nail growth in the nailbed. In about 3-4 months you will know.
This is not the surgeons fault, the nailbed is invisible, and what he actually does is "scrape" at the nail bed, hoping to get the whole growth zone. I have a stupid little residue that grows separately from my main nail as a "stick".

I could probably get it operated on again, but I have no more infected ingrown nail so I let it be, and just pull out the "stick" once in a while, usually after a long bath involving champagne or other bubbly. Then I'm a little anesthesized and I just PULL!

Gah, but what stories you get from posting pictures like that.. ;-)

L said...

Oh Dear goodness! Im so sorry you had to go through that.

Shayla said...

OUCH! I'm so sorry you had to have surgery...but at least it's doing better now! Here's to hoping they got it all...

Swtest2Lips said...

Eeeek! Looks so painful! Glad youre better. Sucks that you have to do it on the other foot 2. Next time, ask the Dr for more pain meds.

The Home Spa Goddess said...

Glad you're feeling better!

I had this surgery on both of my big toes done one after the other, two months apart in high school. I got a shot to numb my toe too. I'm in my thirties now and haven't had a problem since the surgery.

I kept the bandage on way to much the first time and my toe took tow months to heal. The second time I sat around for hours with it off starting a couple of days after the surgery and it healed in 3 weeks!

At least now you well be ready for sandal season:)

Shayla said...

PS - I tagged you in my "15 Blogs" post!

Marce said...

Oh lord, I hope I never get an ingrown toenail. I hope I don't get nightmares tonight, either, LOL.
You poor thing, that seems to have hurt like hell! I remember once when I hit my toe really bad and I couldn't sleep due to the throbbing, pulsating pain...
Good thing you're better now =)
XO

Trinca-Espinhas said...

This post is very usefull!
Thank you for sharing!

Trinca-Espinhas said...

This post is very usefull!
Thank you for sharing!

loraborealis♡ said...

oh my gosh. i am so sorry you had to go through that! your post was quite informative though! the nail on one of my big toes bothers me when i cut it because it tends to grow just a tad into the surrounding skin. i just hope it never has to come down to this. i wish you the speediest recovery!

Askmewhats said...

Ouch! I am very sorry this happened to you! I've suffered bad ingrown 2 x in my lifetime and its just excruciating! Get well soon!

paintedladyfingers said...

Oh! It hurts just looking at it! I am so sorry you went through such pain and discomfort. I hope you heal quickly and are able to enjoy pedicures again soon. <3

rijaH said...

Phew.. thanks for linking to the pictures instead of putting them on :P Hope it will get better soon :)

thriszha said...

ohh.. im very sorry this happened to u.. i just hope u'll get well soon..

Jen said...

My husband just had toe surgery for ingrowns too! His were't infected but they were tender and inflamed. He actually got put under and DID get many stitches through his actual toenails as well as in the skin because the surgeon reshaped the sides of the toe on either side of the nail so that he won't have any future problems. D:

Glad to see yours is doing better. Hubby said it was definitely worth the pain. :)

Pixie said...

Thank you all for your comments. I'm doing fine now. It doesn't hurt at all.

Thank you for the scary stories as well! I think I got off easy :) I hope it'll grow out like it's supposed to.

Lucy said...

So sorry for all of your pain. You should've asked for pain meds. I hope I never get that. I do get the nail growing in a little to close and I just cut out a wedge so it doesn't press into the side. Glad your doing better.

Trina said...

I'm going through your back-logs through a link from Fresco Phyrra's blog.
Ack! That looks so painful! I got the same thing done to my big toes about a year ago, but no stitches and it wasn't infected at the time of surgery.
Odd that you weren't supposed to take off the bandage and soak it.
Hope it heals up really well for you! Also, if you haven't done so: epsom salt and some hydrogen peroxide in hot water make a really awesome foot soak for your toes.

Pixie said...

Thanks for dropping by, Trina. I was told to soak my foot when the nail was ingrown and after I got the stitches out, but I think the water would have dissolved the stitches!