Fluid silicone is a clear, colorless, chemically inert synthetic oil that is classified as an injectable medical device by the FDA.
A variety of surgical silicone devices have been available for many years. These include small joint implants for treatment of arthritis, for cosmetic facial repair, paralyzed vocal cords, as well as breast, testicular and intraocular lens implants.
Silicone has been injected for treatment of painful corns, calluses, fat pad atrophy, painful scarring and diabetic foot ulcers.
Initial use of this material for painful foot conditions began 50 years ago.
Injectable silicone combines with the existing fatty tissue and induces the formation of collagen fibers, the main supportive framework of skin and other tissues. The fluid is engulfed by cells and transformed into countless microscopic droplets that remain at or near the injected sites, serving as an internal soft tissue cushion at points of pressure.
Typically, local anesthetic is injected prior to injecting the silicone. This results in no discomfort experienced during injection of the fluid.
Generally, 2 to 5 injections are required for most condidtions. A single injection is provided every 1 to 2 weeks. The total amount of fluid injection is typically between 0.5 cc and 1.5 cc depending on the area being treated (1 teaspoon = 5cc).
Once injected, it becomes part of the soft tissue and can only be removed surgically.
Infrequently, skin discoloration and painless minimal migration of the silicone material has been observed. Rarely, the fluid moves to form a fibrous skin tag that may require surgical removal if uncomfortable.
Multiple studies indicate that 65% to 85% of symptoms resulting from painful corns and calluses can be greatly diminished or eliminated.
Conservative treatment consisting of debridement of painful skin calluses can be continued. In addition multiple surgical options for these problems are available.
One individual physician/researcher has injected fluid silicone over 25,000 times. No allergic reaction or fluid rejection was observed with any of those injections.
As use of sterile, medical grade silicone injections for foot conditions are considered "off label" by the FDA, the injections are not reimbursed by insurance carriers. However, HSA or Flexible Spending Account funds can be used to pay for treatment.