What is Corn Removal?

The corn removal procedure involves the trimming of corn by shaving off the dead layers of skin with the use of a scalpel.

Effects of Corn Removal

Although the idea of corn surgery may seem extreme to some people, it is the most efficient method of long-lasting relief from corn pain. Corn removal is effective in getting rid of the pressure, friction and other uncomfortable pain sensations.

Candidates for Closed Reduction Fracture

Candidates for this procedure are those who have corns on their feet. Corns, though, are more prevalent in women as a result of wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes.

Your Consultation

The corn removal procedure is typically performed during an office visit and approximately takes about fifteen minutes to half an hour. A local anesthetic is sufficient for this surgery in most cases.

The Corn Removal Procedure

During the procedure, the doctor will make an incision on the top of the fifth toe. The ligaments about the joint in the toe are freed to allow exposure of the head of the bone called the proximal phalanx. The fifth toe bone is the portion that is pressing on the base of the fourth toe. The head of the proximal phalanx in the fifth toe is then cut and taken away. If the toe is contracted or curled, then the tendon in the bottom of the fifth toe is released. Depending on the situation, the doctor will also make a small incision at the base of the fourth toe and smooth the bone in this region. In rare instances, the skin between the fourth and fifth toes may be so severely damaged that fixing the bone problem alone will not heal the soft corn. When this happens, the damaged skin between the toes must be eliminated. This procedure called a syndactylism requires taking out the damaged skin between the toes and sewing the fourth and fifth toes together. Although this may seem drastic, the procedure shows no loss of foot function and results in a good cosmetic outcome.

Recovery

After surgery, the patient should refrain from using the foot and maintain it at an elevated level higher than the heart for at least three days. Activities should be limited for the next 2 to 3 weeks. After about 10 to 14 days, the stitches will be taken out. During this period, the foot should be kept dry to lessen the risk of infection. It is recommended that the patient use a post-operative shoe to accommodate the bandage, and should be worn every time. Not wearing the shoe might cause the bandage to come loose, resulting in too much movement at the surgical site, which may produce swelling, delays in healing and possible infection. The patient can bathe the foot as soon as the stitches are taken away. But barefoot walking should be restrained for about 3 weeks from the time of surgery. The patient is asked to wear the post-operative shoe until they are capable to wear normal shoes comfortably. This will probably take 3 to 4 weeks from the time of surgery.

Risks

There are hardly any complications with this surgery. The most common problem associated with this procedure is the excessive swelling which may delay the healing process. Post-operative infection rates are minimal, but the risk escalates if the surgical site is not kept dry. A reoccurrence of the condition is probable if sufficient bone is not eliminated or if the patient goes back to wearing shoes that are too close-fitting. If too much bone is taken out, then the toe may be floppy. It is usual for the toe to feel floppy for a few weeks following the surgery. In general, the toe stiffens eventually.

FAQs

What is a corn?

A corn is a localized thickening of the skin as a result of pressure. Oftentimes, corns come about on the top of the toes where there is pressure from the shoes. Nevertheless, they also occur at the sole of the foot and in between toes. Specific corns may become intertwined with the nerves of the skin. These corns are remarkably painful. Frequently, corns build up a core which is repeatedly referred to as the “root” by patients. Corns can be extremely painful, particularly if there is inflammation and swelling in the region of the corn.

What are soft corns?

Soft corns are described as areas of white moist skin between the toes. Generally, they appear between the fourth and fifth toes. They can be very excruciating, and if left untreated can develop small ulcerations or sinus tracts that can become infected. Acute athlete’s foot can imitate the soft corn. The soft corn is caused by an abnormality in the shape of the bone in the fourth or fifth toes. This condition is more common in females as a consequence of wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes.

What are the causes of corns?

The following are the causes of corns: Tight shoes, deformed toes (hammer toes), seam or stitch inside the shoe which rubs against the toe, abnormality of gait (walking), surgery to the lower extremities and bunions.

How can I prevent corns and relieve discomfort?

To prevent corns, you should not wear shoes that are too tight or too loose. Wear well-padded shoes with open toes or a deep toe box (the part of the shoe that surrounds the toes). If needed, have a cobbler stretch the shoes in the area where the corn or callus is situated. Also, wear thick socks to absorb pressure, but do not wear tight socks or stockings. Applying petroleum jelly or lanolin hand cream will also help soften corns or calluses. Using doughnut-shaped pads that fit over a corn can decrease pressure and friction on it.

What are the treatments for corns?

Treatment may consist of applying pads around the corn area, wearing larger shoes to comfortably fit your foot without rubbing or surgery.