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How long is recovery after toenail surgery? Read on and find out what you should expect after toenail surgery and the correct postoperative care to aid your recovery.

Ingrown toenails, fungal infections and thickened toenails are common issues for the experienced podiatrists at Feet By Pody. In many cases, we can treat or manage your toenail problems, but sometimes the only solution is toenail surgery – a minor procedure to remove or partially remove the toenail. This allows infections to heal and prevents the problem from recurring.

The Importance of Aftercare

Surgery is the first step, but the correct aftercare is essential. This minimises complications and ensures the wound heals as quickly as possible. It also helps you to manage pain and keep it to a minimum.

After the Procedure

After surgery, we carefully dress the wound to keep it clean and dry. This reduces the risk of infection and allows it to heal properly. At this stage, it’s important to keep off your feet as much as possible, particularly during the first two days. This avoids putting pressure on the wound and helps it heal.

After surgery, your toe will still be numb for a few hours so it’s important you don’t try to drive yourself home. Get a lift or take a taxi instead.

Wear the Right Shoes

The right footwear is crucial – the wound site must be protected but your toes shouldn’t be squashed in any way. It’s best to wear open-toed shoes or sandals (not too tight or too loose) to ensure your toes are comfy and safe.

Keep to this sort of footwear throughout the recovery period and avoid walking or standing as much as possible during the first week.


When sitting or lying, try to keep your foot elevated as much as possible for the first few days. This helps reduce swelling and stops you from bumping your toe and causing further damage.

Dressing the Wound and Follow-ups

We ask you to leave the initial dressing in place for a few days and then visit us for a check-up, during which the toe will be re-dressed.

Another follow-up takes place 10 days after the first redressing. The wound will take from 6-8 weeks to fully heal and during this time it needs changing regularly – probably daily. We’ll tell you exactly how to do this, so there’s no need to see us every single day!

Managing Pain

Your toe will be a little painful after the procedure, but it can be managed with standard over-the-counter painkillers or prescription medication. Your podiatrist will know what’s best for you but always check before taking anything.

Foot Bath

The podiatrist may recommend regular foot baths in warm salty water to help the healing process. The addition of Epsom salts helps relieve swelling and inflammation. This also improves circulation and helps ease soreness.

After soaking it’s essential to thoroughly dry the foot before applying a fresh dressing.

Returning to Normal Activities

It’s important you don’t charge back into exercise or work too quickly. Generally, you’re good to go once the wound has fully healed, but your podiatrist will tell you what’s right for you.

Complications and Warning Signs

Occasionally, things don’t go according to plan and if you notice any of the following, contact your podiatrist at once:

  • Pus or bleeding in the toenail area.
  • Ongoing pain even with medication.
  • Redness in the toenail area.
  • Formation of a nail cyst.
  • Regrowth

Comprehensive Care at Feet by Pody

For all toenail issues and general foot health talk to the experienced podiatrists at Feet by Pody.

Contact Feet By Pody today.