permenant toe nail removal

By dj7110 Latest Reply 2013-07-24 23:25:43 -0500
Started 2009-03-26 11:24:58 -0500

My podiatrist has asked me to think of having surgery to permenatly remove my toenails due to consistant ingrowns. Has anyone had this done or is familiar with it? What are the chances of nails growing back? How long has it taken for toes to heal? (I know we heal slower) I am highly interested in following his recomendation of having this done to avoid the possability spread of infections from ingrowns.

26 replies

Brittany D
Brittany D 2013-07-24 23:20:47 -0500 Report

I had my two big toenails permanently removed June 17, 2013. I had chronic bacterial infections in my nail beds for over a year and a half. Now they are completely healed and I couldn't be happier!!

tinkerbell54 2013-04-27 13:35:22 -0500 Report

I have had my toe removed before it does grow back but it is very slow. as to how long depends on UR body. Tinkerbell54

2009-06-08 20:30:38 -0500 Report

My toenails just fall off by themselves, or when rocked to the point of falling off! I've seen what pain ingrown toenails causes, and if I had that problem, I would jump at the thought of getting rid of the offending nails!

Sorry to hear it's not goin well, dj, will keep my fingers crossed it gets better!!!!

dj7110 2009-06-08 20:20:32 -0500 Report

bad news.. both big toes are infected. My sugars have been running high last couple weeks. lowest reading 146 and highest 438. averaging in the 237 last 2 weeks. think this may have prolonged them in healing. got to my family dr this morning and starting antibiotic and have another appt with the podiatrist Wed.

hepette 2009-05-24 13:40:56 -0500 Report

i just had my left toenail done—-u dont need to remove the whole nail to my knowledge. my dr just numbed my foot and removed the nail etc like a v upside down so now theres no nail sides to dig in my skin. it worked great and took me about 3 wks to heal completely although even though i am diabetic i heal fairly quickly.good luck!

dj7110 2009-05-19 14:43:25 -0500 Report

Just got home. Dr just did the big toes.. these are the ones that caused me most of the trouble. He said they will never grow back. I can't remove the bandages till tomorrow and follow back up in a week with the dr.. will drop back in the thread again if they come back or cause me any problems to update. Thanks for everyones input.

lipsie 2009-05-17 02:35:11 -0500 Report

Yeah, let us know how things go. I am going to my foot doctor Tuesday…I dunno, I have thought of having this done cuz I have problems with my nails growing in too thick to cut and they get long…hard to wear shoes without pain cuz of it. Thanks! Sheila

Splender 2009-05-15 22:57:41 -0500 Report

Let me know how your surgery went. It was pretty easy after I had mine done. I hope it's the same for you!


DoseyDoe65 2009-03-29 16:38:40 -0500 Report

dj7110, I have had both of my big toenails done(repeatedly) only 1 supposeitly permanantly. It is just like Sarguillo's. It grew back as fast as it did before but it grew from the sides and met in the middle, I have to file the top of it down to keep it from rubbing the top of shoe and getting sore. I may have to keep taking them off but I don't want another one like this. I'm pre-diabedic and I heal just fine. I know a girl that worked in the dr's, office her's came back from the back, but it only grew so far out then it looks like a bubble. Mine didn't wear so good in my shoe,until that crazy 2 nails grew out. It was well but stayed tender. Dosey

dj7110 2009-03-29 11:06:45 -0500 Report

Thank You for all the input, I'm going to look into haveing it done. Seems every visit I end up having at least one ingrown dug out on one toe or another over the past yr. On my left foot I had a trailer hitch come down on it many yrs ago and nails on that foot never grew back right since. I think it will be for the best to go around without them.

rbergman 2009-03-29 14:32:21 -0500 Report

If you do have this done, please tell us about it, I would love to know more about it on a personal level as well as what the doctors say about it. They don't feel our pain and discomfort or anxiety about what we go through they only give us the clinical aspects. So, please if you do have this done let us know, or let me know in a message as I too am seriously wondering if it wouldn't be the best route for me to go myself.


dj7110 2009-03-29 17:52:29 -0500 Report

I see my podiatrist next on april 28th. This was a procedure he wanted me to consider. I am planning on going threw with it and will update on the results.

rbergman 2009-05-16 09:15:45 -0500 Report

I've read here where some have had them removed only to have them grow back. Are you having it done so that they never come back? That is what I would like to have done myself.

Splender 2009-03-27 08:59:36 -0500 Report

When I was 24-26 I'm not sure now. My two big toe nails had to be removed at the borders because the borders went half way around my toe on the inside which was making it hard on me to walk comfortably. I only had the borders removed at that time. About 10 years later I had to finally have the remainder of the toenails removed because they were starting to hurt me. I did not come down with any kind of infection. And in fact I think I remember healing faster than the doctor thought I would. If your Podiatrist practices diabetic care then he will know what to do. I have complete faith in all my doctors since they know my conditions and can treat them when anything arises. Before I go to a new doctor I always ask my primary doctor who he would recommend this way I know the new doctor will know about the conditions I have or else my primary wouldn't have recommended him/her. Does this help you any


GabbyPA 2009-03-27 07:50:26 -0500 Report

I used to be a sales person and being on the floor all day in not so great shoes caused my big toes to tend to ingrow. I had a less than successful evlusion several years ago. She removed the one side of my nail, but left the majority of it intact. Aparantly it was not enough and the issue continued. I managed it for many years, but finally had to have it done again.

I found that my foot soaking was part of my problem (that was suggested by my previous podiatritist!!) My new doctor removed the entire nail because of fungus and it took about a week before anykind of shoe would go on my foot. A cople of months before I had the protection of my nail back. It is not really all that painful, and if you have had ingrown nails, you know the relief that comes when that is removed.

My nail has grown back except at the side that was the problem. That was the intent of the surgery, so I am happy. It is not toatally normal looking, and that has taken me some time to adjust to. But you know what, I would rather have weird looking toes than not be able to walk.

lipsie 2009-03-27 01:47:02 -0500 Report

Well I was having repeated issues at one time and refered to do the same procedure. I set it up, but chickened out, lol But I also heard blah things…can't remember what now but I think I was looking for excuses really too. Anyhow, my toes chilled out anyhow thank goodness. Granted does not mean I won't have future issues or even do this procedure if need be…either way good luck w/ you choice and let me know how it works out please! Sheila

bigjrm45 2009-03-26 14:41:18 -0500 Report

I had this done back in 1978,toke a few days to heal and mine never came back,and it looks just like my other toe's but no now in 2009 they must be doing it with little or no down time, have a good day now hope this helped

highlandcitygirl 2009-03-26 14:21:55 -0500 Report

when i was forty, i looked down at the toenail on my left big toe, it was deformed due to a tricycle accident when i was a child, i said to myself ,one day your not only going to be just as fat as you are now, but you will be old and won't be able to dig it out anymore. so i had a doctor remove the thing, nailbed and all. it has never came back! the odd thing is people notice it more now than when it was defromed., go figure!

Brittany D
Brittany D 2013-07-24 23:25:43 -0500 Report

They don't actually remove the nail bed. It is chemically burned so that it does not act like a nail bed. That skin transforms into normal skin. I had my big toenails permanently removed a little over a month ago. My toes are now healed and doing great!

rbergman 2009-03-26 13:53:17 -0500 Report

This was something that was suggested to me also, years ago after first being diagnosed, I thought they were crazy, however last week I had to have the doctor work on ALL of my toes except the pinky toes to get ingrown nails out. I usually do it myself but found this time it just wasn't working so she had to cut and dig them out. My toe nails do not grow outward normally but curl into the sides so that they grow down into both sides of my toes instead. By the time she got done I didn't have much nail on any toe left but it sure did feel a lot better. I asked her about having them completely removed and she said it is much different now than it used to be and that they freeze the nerve endings once they pull the nail completely out so that it cannot grow back because that area would be dead. I have not talked to anyone who has had this done but would also be interested in how the procedure now works and what the success rate of the nails not growing back would be. I did lose a big toe nail once myself about a year ago, the entire thing came out, the pain was mostly air getting to the exposed area underneath but it actually only lasted a couple days and then I didn't notice it, the nail did eventually grow back on it's own but I didn't have this done on purpose I actually did it myself totally by accident.

2009-03-26 18:08:54 -0500 Report

Ouch Robin. I can understand why you would consider this DJ. I don't have trouble with my feet (yet) but when I went DKA, my nail on my big toe came completely off. It is growing back, very slowly, but growing back. I had no pain, the nail just died. Like Sarg, I'm in a warm climate and wear sandals and flip flops just about year round. If I had major problems with my feet, I would consider it, but it would be hard for me to do it. But with the pain and problems you experience, I can understand why you are thinking about this. Good luck and let us know what you decide. Take care friend, Angie

Sarguillo 2009-03-26 13:45:43 -0500 Report

I had this done when I was a teenager. This was many moons ago. The nail was removed, they said they put silver nitrate to stop the growth of the nail. Well, it didnt work. The nail doesnt grow from the center but from the sides now. Meets up in the center and it looks bad. It does not look like nail but a growth of bark or somting you would find in the forest. I have terrible looking nails. IOn fact, I have terrible looking feet. Its my shame and I do love to wear sandles. I have been known to wear sandles with socks.

valgale 2009-05-23 12:22:55 -0500 Report

If your nails look like tree bark, I'm thinking fungus. You should have that checked out. I'm not the diabetic, my daughter is. I passed this on to her because she is perpetually picking at her feet and ingrown toenails. I hope she reads this and gets some tips on how to manage her ingrown toenails.

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