My FiveFingers

A fan site all about Minimalist Running, Barefoot running, and Healthy Living!

Join the Community


How does the toe feel when the lidocaine wears off after ingrown toenail procedure to remove. When the feeling comes back, is the pain really awful? do you need narcotic pain meds? can you walk?

Asked by Kristi stuart on Apr 30, 2012 16 Answers Provided. Official Answer:

Great Question!  Tyler Hurst, a contributor to, actually wrote a post about his outpatient ingrown toenail surgery.  Give it a ready, it is really enlightening and has a bunch of great (if not a little gruesome) pics.  I’m going to send this link to Tyler so that he can update with how it feels after the lidocaine wears off.  Thanks!

Click here to submit an answer

Submitted Answers

  1. Tyler Hurst says:

    Hoo boy. Okay, I’ve had this procedure done twice; first on the left side of my left big toe, the second time on the right side of my left big toe and the left side of my right big toe.

    Procedure was the same, by the same doctor. Pain was…not quite the same, but it got worse at the same time. Here’s what happened when the lidocaine wore off about 12 hours after the surgery (surgery was at 1pm, lidocaine wore off while I was sleeping at about 2am).

    Like the doctor had recommended, I had gone to bed with my feet propped up on two pillows. Not surprisingly, the pillows were lost as I sleep and I woke up with them on the floor and my toes absolutely throbbing.

    Picture that second just AFTER the initial pain of stubbing your toe. It lasts for about 2-5 seconds and feels like ripping your toe off would be less pain. There’s no way to flex, will, shift, breath or focus away a feeling like that. It hurts and it hurts bad.

    But walking was possible. I hobbled on the outside of both feet into my living room, grabbing an ice pack from the fridge. I sat in my TV chair with the ice pack on both toes. The oddness of this angle required me to constantly shift, but I could feel the ice working through the bandages.

    Problem was, the blood was now seriously rushing to my feet, which made my toes throb even more. I rotated between laying with my back on the floor and my feet propped on the chair to sitting in the chair with ice covering my feet on the floor for about three hours.

    I took sleeping pills, advil and some, um, herbal remedies hoping that something, anything would help me fall back asleep. The meds kicked in and the pain subsided at 5:30am, and I was FINALLY able to get back to sleep.

    When I woke up three hours later, I was scared to death to unwrap my bandages and do my initial scrub. I figured the pain from the night before would immediately come back and I’d be crying in the bathtub. Fortunately, it did not and my toes never hurt all that much again.

    I did continue to take advil in the morning, but only for the first week.

    TL;DR – it will hurt like hell the first night, but after that you’re okay as long as you don’t stub your toes on anything.

  2. David says:


    OMG right at 12 hours after the procedure Bamm I woke up to shooting throbbing pains every 12-30 seconds.

    Still glad I got rid of the whole toe…

  3. I actually have a question I have to get it done in the morning on Friday and I’m so scared of shots,Can y’all tell me how many shots y’all got? And is there anything y’all did to keep y’all mind off the shot?

  4. Rene says:

    I had it done today and I had both big toe nails done. I got 4 shots in each toe. I want to warn you the ladocaine burns so bad, my dr held the toe nail to apply a bit of pressure and it didn’t hurt as bad. To keep my mind off it I just talked to dr and medical assistant about there week and mine so far. You will be just fine. The only thing that hurt me was the shots.

  5. Diana says:

    Hi. I had it done yesterday at 3:45 pm and it’s 11;31 pm that night after and I have throbbing pain! Took 4 Advils when I came home and Again now to help with pain. I was so nervous about the shots I actually moved when she stuck me first and she slipped and stuck herself. Now she was nervous about poking herself. Poor Doctor! I had an HIV test maybe about 3 years ago (Negative) but I offered to take another today. She was thankful! Any ways I can’t wait for the throbbing to go away!

  6. Barb says:

    I had my done 3 weeks ago. The throbbing lasted 2 full days and Nothing touched the pain. I was tired and worried, but once the dressings came off, the throbbing slow led down. They bled for several days, one toe worse than the other. I have a relatively low pain threshold, so wasn’t surprised by the pain.
    Rest, ice(so awkward trying to ice toe!), and pain meds.

    And now my toes are STILL oozing that amber fluid/serum when I stand up in the morning. They scab over all day long and the epsom salt foot baths soak the scabs off and we start all over again.
    Callin’ the doc when the office opens in the morning. Something isn’t right. Can’t be, after reading all these comments about no pain after a few days. My toes don’t hurt like they did the first few days, but they hurt worse than my ingrown toenails did.

  7. Shiloh says:

    I had both big toe nails removed recently at different doctor visits. The first was removed because it was mostly off anyway due to my having accidentally injured my toe. Doctor used a cold spray to limit the pain of the initial jab of the needle used for anesthetic. Two injections, one on each side of the top of my toe, and each one hurt like heck, pretty much as if my toe had been skewered. I’m pretty tough when it comes to pain, so how much it hurt took me by surprise. Still, it is very likely less than the pain I’d feel having the rest of my nail removed. Afterward, the nail bed seeped and bled a bit and was very sensitive (still is) and after a couple of days, started hurting worse so I called my primary doctor to see if they’d look at it and he said it was infected, prescribed antibiotics and in a couple of days it all calmed down. Same procedure for the anesthetic and removal of the other toenail but recovery has not been as easy this time. It’s been seven days now and the nail bed is still oozing, the toe is throbbing and sometimes feels like it’s been stabbed and nothing so far helps the pain, it hurts all the way to the bone. Doctor prescribed anti-inflammatories and another course of antibiotics but so far, I don’t see any improvement. Hoping it will calm down soon, because I am feeling absolutely miserable.

  8. Julie says:

    Hello Shiloh! I am wondering if you ended up with any relief? I am about six days out from the same procedure and in similar pain as you. Any advice would be much appreciated!

  9. Haylee says:

    Hi I got the procedure done on my right toe, left side. I actually needed to do the other foot as well but the doctor thought doing them seperately would be best (I’m so glad I didn’t do the other one….). 2 large needles in the base and middle of my toe which was traumatizing to say the least….once she started the procedure, I instantly knew they didn’t use enough numbing. I felt the whole thing, especially when she was cauterizing. By the end of the procedure, I was sweating buckets and shaking. That was 11 hours ago, and the pain is horrible. I’ve taken 5 extra strength Tylenol, some melatonin to sleep and have been tossing and turning. I am hopeful tomorrow the pain will have subsided.

  10. Abby says:

    Oh you should’ve told your doctor that the numbing med wasn’t enough. Nobody deserves to feel pain in that procedure at all! Mine was just done today and I can feel a throbbing pain. The doctor though put a cut glove (the finger part) and put it in around the dressing so it wouldn’t bleed at all.

  11. Jaz says:

    So I just had my nail removed, how long does it take for ALL the numbness to go away, because it’s been almost 15 hours and I can’t figure out if my toe is numb or if it’s cold, hot in server pain or what

  12. Reggie says:

    I’m not sure, I’m having same issue. I had my surgery at 3:30pm and it’s 3:42am Currently (full 12 hrs) and I still have no feeling in my toe. I have no sensation at all, is this normal? I feel like I somehow have nerve damage now ;(

  13. Corina says:

    It can take up to 24 hours for the numbing sensation to subside.

  14. Timothy Gonzalez says:

    after the operation when the numbing wears off i have had the worst pain in my life i feel like someone it smashing my toe with a hammer over and over

  15. Amanda says:

    Hey I just had this done today, it was really uncomfortable for me. The ingrown toe nail was huge! When my doctor took it out he said “well that explains why you were in so much pain”. I have my foot elevated now and the throbbing is really bad. Very uncomfortable 😕 i should have gotten this done way sooner but from letting it go I couldn’t walk the pain was so bad. Makes sense. But yea im in pan as we speak 😥😥

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.