Poor Man’s Toe Surgery: Why? Because I can.

So I went snowboarding in Mammoth last weekend and had a blast. Only problem was I came out of it with a totally traumatized big right toe. After a week of hoping it would sort itself out, I enlisted the help of podiatrist friend & entrepreneur extraordinare, Daniel Rubano to give me some guidance on how to deal with my “situation,” AKA my “black toenail.”

Mind you, my toe was actually a lovely shade of pale purple, but it hurt nonetheless.

Ahh me toe.

“Ouch!” I said, and thanks to modern technology was able to enlist Dan’s help all the way from Nicaragua!

Based on a few more reference shots, Dan was able to guide me: 

“you need to let the pressure out of it. the blood in there will actually pose a risk for bacteria within the dead space it creates and lots of material to feast on. clean the toe and instrument like a paperclip well before inserting under the nail. by the look of the picture start from the end of the toe and stay on the underside of the nail until you reach the space. let the blood flow out and keep it clean and bandaged with antibiotic ointment for a week.¬†eventually the nail will begin to lift as it grows out. keep cleaning under the nail. stop bandaging after the first week or two. clean well in showers, soap will do. dry well after shower.

we’ll stay in touch on it. best to leave nail in place as long as you can, it will keep the nail bed protected and from changing its shape.

good luck amigo…d”

With my lovely girlfriend Alina acting as surgical assistant and nurse, we began to prepare for the procedure. At first I wasn’t too sure about Dan’s instructions thinking that he wanted me to make an incision like in this image.

But it seems I misunderstood:

He responded,

“go perpendicular to the line you drew. enter in the middle of the nail and go straight under the nail. stay on the under/bottom of the nail. do this just like the chinese bamboo torture…
i hope you didn’t try it yet.”

I sent this reference shot, and was assured I was now on track.

Instruments sterilized (a nice size sewing needle), area soaked in warm salt water and cleaned with alcohol, I made the stab.

It was surprisingly painless.

A few squeezes later and my toe no longer felt like it was going to explode.

I bet you’re just bummed that picture came out blurry.

I’m sure you get the effect though.

Some tape and a little stylizing from Alina, and I’m as good as new!

Now that’s what I call a Super Bowl Sunday!

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