The 52-year-old's defense lawyer, Steve Greenberg, explained that one of Kelly's toenails had to be removed as treatment and Kelly was worried someone might trample on his toe as he was escorted to and from court.
Kelly is detained at a jail two blocks from the courthouse and was expected to appear at the status hearing in his child pornography case.
During the five-minute hearing, Judge Harry Leinenweber said he'd rule later on motions to dismiss some charges and reconsider bond for Kelly.
Kelly has pleaded not guilty to federal charges in Chicago and New York, where he is accused of a racketeering scheme to sexually abuse girls.
Leinenweber set Kelly's next hearing for Feb. 13.
The Associated Press contributed to this report