Calluses develop as a response to your skin trying to protect an underlying injury caused by friction, unnecessary pressure, and rubbing. Corns are a type of callus with a hard core in the center that can occur on the top of, between, or on the tip of the toes and feet — usually on non-weight-bearing parts of the skin.
Patients with a hammertoe condition, where the middle toes are bent upward, and can form uncomfortable corns or calluses.
Every patient is unique, so the decision between conservative treatment versus surgical correction is a personal one. Before coming to a decision, the patient and doctor must take into consideration current lifestyle, medical conditions, age, and the severity of the corn and callus issue.
If conservative treatment fails, the option to not have surgery is as important as the decision to opt for surgical intervention. With surgical removal, not only can the thick and discolored portion of the corn be removed, but if the patient chooses surgery, the surgeon can also remove the offending portion of the bone (or bone spur) to prevent the corn from returning.
Conservative treatment options that can reduce or eliminate pain caused by corns and calluses include the following:
If the corn or callus is rubbing uncomfortably against the sides or tops of your shoes, choose wider or larger shoes with softer material in order to eliminate that pain. Make sure the new shoes have enough room in the toe box — the area in the front of the shoe — in order for your toes to move freely without friction.
Instead of surgery, individuals with corns or calluses can remove them via professional sharp debridement (shaving) or consistent filing. Over-the-counter medicinal pads are available to remove corns, but should be used with caution since they contain a type of acid that can possibly cause an ulceration if used in excess.
Depending on the location and severity, a patient may opt for surgery to remove corns and calluses or to prevent them from repeated development. Surgical corn removal involves an elliptical incision and excision of this tissue. The underlying prominence will be excised as well as surrounding inflamed soft tissue.
The foot should be elevated for up to 48 hours after surgery, and the patient should be completely off their feet for at least three days. Sutures are placed under the skin with steri-strips (surgical tape) and then removed after 2 weeks. Avoid full weight bearing and normal shoes for about three weeks after surgery.
Recovering from corn removal surgery depends on the type of corn and procedure, but usually takes 2 to 4 weeks.
A true, permanent corn removal surgery involves removing the bone prominence or spur beneath the thick skin, and takes 2 weeks for the incision to heal and another 2 weeks to fit comfortably into shoes. Some consider pairing or trimming the skin a corn removal surgery, and after that “procedure” recovery is immediate.
Hammer toe surgery is not commonly painful, and usually requires only an anti-inflammatory after surgery, or low-level pain reliever like codeine at most.
Inside the corn itself is alpha-keratin protein, the same protein found in calluses, hair, and nails.
Getting rid of corns permanently requires a small surgical procedure. The pressure (usually bone spur or prominent joint) underneath the corn produces the alpha-keratin protein production.
An untreated corn is not dangerous unless the pressure that forms the corn is excessive. Trimming the corn or surgically removing the corn are options to prevent blistering, infections, or more serious problems.
Looser shoes are good for corns, especially ones with a wider forefoot or toe box area, with mesh-like material.
“My visit to the Moore office in Spring was very pleasurable! The staff is more than accommodating and helpful; Dr. Moore is an extremely genial and knowledgeable physician! In my opinion, I have unsightly feet, LOL, nonetheless, Dr. Moore was able to explain symptomology and causation of my cosmetic concerns that I was completely unaware of and glad to learn! He is person-centered, and prioritizes your feet are first healthy, yet still reassuring that he can give you realistic but very favorable results you want! I’m very excited for my upcoming surgery and trust that my health and wants are of the upmost concern for Dr. Moore and his staff.”
Our patient had a common hammer toe and corn problem on her 5th toes that caused pain with her tighter dress shoes. She also had a tight tendon that elevated them above her other toes. The tendon lengthening, hammer toe repair and callus/corn removal was all performed in the office under local anesthesia to both of her feet.
If you’re experiencing painful bunionette conditions that are negatively impacting how you get around in your daily life, we can help. Contact Moore Foot and Ankle Specialists for a consultation today.
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