Those who struggle with corns on their feet have probably heard about minimally invasive corn removal surgery. Still, this may sound like a drastic step for some - is this podiatric problem worth having surgery for? Stick around to learn more about corn removal procedures and find out if this is the right treatment option for you.
What Is Minimally Invasive Corn Removal Surgery?
Minimally invasive corn removal surgery is a medical procedure used to remove corns on the skin, typically on the feet, caused by friction or pressure. It involves the precise and careful removal of the corn using specialized tools while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. The procedure is typically performed by a podiatrist or foot specialist, and it is done under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis to alleviate pain and discomfort associated with corns.
What Are Corns?
A corn is an area of thickened, hardened skin. While it can occur on other parts of the body as well (usually hands), it is most commonly found on a foot simply because feet are often exposed to excessive pressure and friction.
They can be very painful and disrupt a patient's everyday activities, but this is usually in the case of corn that has been developing for years - the more the skin hardens, the more painful your corn will be. Mild cases usually just cause discomfort or feel tender to the touch.
Factors that cause corn formation include wearing uncomfortable shoes, walking barefoot, not wearing socks with your shoes, various physical activities that put pressure on your feet, and even some foot deformities (like hammertoes or bunions). There are three types of corns - hard, soft, and seed corn.
Caption - Various factors and activities contribute to corn formation
Alt-text - A woman sitting on the bed and examining her foot with a corn on it
What Are the Benefits of Minimally Invasive Corn Removal Surgery?
Compared to non-surgical treatments that take a bit of time, corn removal gives fast results. Since it's minimally invasive, there won't be much trauma to soft tissues, meaning your recovery will be swift and effortless.
Additionally, this surgery is quite simple, with a high success rate. You won't even have to be put under general anesthesia - a local anesthetic will be more than enough to do the job and keep you comfortable during the procedure. It's an outpatient surgery, so you'll be able to go home the same day.
The Procedure - Step-By-Step Process
The removal takes about 30 minutes. Once the local anesthetic is administered, the surgeon will start the procedure by making small incisions to remove the corn. They need to be precise and remove the entire skin growth - corn can run deep into the skin, so the surgeon has to make sure they remove the entire root. Once that's done, all they have to do is clean and bandage the wound, and the procedure is over. The patient is provided with a special surgical shoe and instructed on how long they need to wear it.
Is Minimally Invasive Corn Removal Right for You?
How do you know if this surgery is a good choice for you? Whether you wish to remove your corn strictly for cosmetic reasons or you experience severe pain due to this condition, you may be a good candidate for corn removal surgery. The best way to decide is to consult with your doctor. After they examine your foot, they'll be able to tell if you should try non-surgical treatment methods or if you're best suited for minimally invasive corn removal.
Some people prefer to give a chance to non-surgical treatments like using a pumice stone or applying salicylic acid. These often give good results, but keep in mind that non-surgical treatments won't be beneficial in severe cases.
Your doctor will recommend surgery if they see these methods aren't successful. Unfortunately, there are many cases of stubborn corns that reoccur in the same place over and over again. If that happens, turning to surgery to remove the corn and fix the underlying biomechanical foot issues that cause it to develop is paramount. Keep in mind that it's a simple surgery - you have nothing to be afraid of!
Caption - If the non-surgical treatments don't work, surgery is your next-best option
Alt-text - A doctor examining a patient's foot
How Long Is Recovery From Corn Removal Surgery?
The recovery period can vary depending on the extensiveness of surgery, but in most cases, it takes about 6 weeks to fully heal. However, you will be able to return to most of your everyday activities in about 2 weeks.
Can You Walk After Corn Removal Surgery?
Although you will likely be able to put weight on your foot after surgery, it's not recommended to walk immediately following the procedure. Doctors suggest waiting a week or two (until the wound heals a little bit) before you start walking again.
Can Corns Be Removed Without Surgery?
Yes, there are certain non-surgical corn removal techniques, such as using a pumice stone or applying salicylic acid on the corn. Still, these don't guarantee good results and won't work in every case. Sometimes, surgery to remove the corn is necessary.
Is Corn Removal Surgery Safe?
Yes, corn removal surgery is quite safe. It has a high success rate and low chances of complications. It's an outpatient, minimally invasive procedure with a short recovery period.