Monday, October 29, 2007

Glomus Tumor

A glomus tumor is a rare benign tumor of the hand. It constitutes 1–5% of the soft-tissue tumors in the hand. It arises from the glomus body which is a neuromyoarterial apparatus described by P. Masson in 1924. The normal glomus body is an arteriovenous shunt that is composed of an afferent arteriole, an anastomotic vessel (Sucquet-Hoyer canal), a collecting vein, and a capsular portion. It resides in the stratum reticulum of the skin. There are large numbers in the subungual region and in the distal pad of the digits. The glomus body is a controlled arteriovenous anastomosis or shunt between the terminal vessels thought to be important in regulating peripheral blood flow in the digits, which secondarily controls peripheral blood pressure and body temperature. (photo credit)

Glomus tumors affect women two to three times more often than men. Most are in the 30-50 year age group. Most occur in the subungual area (approximately 50%), but can occur on the finger tip pulp, the palm, wrist, forearm and foot. Glomus tumor can occur near the tip of the spine, where it may arise from the glomus coccygeum. Glomus tumors have also been described in locations where the glomus body does not normally occur. These unusual sites include the patella, bone, chest wall, eyelid, colon, rectum, and cervix. Over 75% of glomus tumors occur in the hand.

Symptoms usually consist of a triad

  • severe paroxysmal pain--the pain can be excruciating and is described as a burning or bursting
  • localized tenderness
  • extreme cold sensitivity

Physical exam reveals a blue-pink tender mass that can often be seen through the nail plate or skin. When the mass is growing beneath the nailbed (subungual), it can displace the nailbed dorsally. (photo credit) When the lesion is beneath the nail matrix, it can produce a longitudinal ridging of the nail plate. Placing the involved digit or extremity in ice water will reproduce the pain within 60 seconds. Typically, the mass is usually less than 7 mm in diameter, so can be very difficult to palpate even when not beneath the nail. There are two clinical findings described, particularly in relation to the painful subungual solitary glomus tumors. They are the Hildreth's sign and Love's test. Hildreth's sign is disappearance of pain after application of a tourniquet proximally on the arm. Love's test consists of eliciting pain by applying pressure to a precise area with the tip of a pencil. Routine laboratory studies have no role in diagnosis of glomus tumor.

X-rays of the finger may show bone erosion, ranging from a small concave defect to a sharply defined radiolucent lesion seen in the region of the tuft of the phalanx. There is often a thin sclerotic margin about the defect as a secondary reaction to the tumor pressure. Standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to detect glomus tumors. (photo credit)

The tumor consist of a highly organized, well-encapsulated mass consisting of glomus cells, curled blood vessels, and a large number of nerves within or adjacent to the lesion. This explains the great sensitivity of the glomus tumor.

Treatment is surgical. Surgical approach will vary depending on the location of the tumor. The glomus tumor is always well encapsulated and can usually be "shelled out" with little or no difficulty. When excision is complete, the prognosis is excellent for full recovery with no recurrence.

References

Glomus Tumor by Henry DeGroot, III MD--bonetumor.org

Glomus Tumor at Wheeless Textbook of Orthopedics

Subungual glomus tumor by Dr. K.-- MSKcases

Glomus Tumor of the Finger Tip and MRI Appearance by David H Kim, MD--Iowa Orthop J. 1999; 19: 136–138.

Two cases of subungual glomus tumor; Murthy PS, Rajagopal R, Kar PK, Grover S; Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2006;72:47-9

Glomus Tumor by Michael B Reynolds, MD--eMedicine Article

234 comments:

1 – 200 of 234   Newer›   Newest»
Allyson said...

I had a glomus tumor of the left middle finger.

And that MF hurt like an MF -- I described the pain as a hot poker being driven through my nail.

It was not fun, but the surgeon let me watch as he took the tumour out.

Fun!

Mel said...

I had a glomus tumor removed from my left little finger and it apparently wasn't removed completely because now, less than a year later, it's back and just as painful as before. :(

rlbates said...

So sorry Mel. Hope they get it all this time around.

nat said...

i have a glomus tumor attatched to the bone at the tip of my left little finger. Next week i am having it taken out for the 3rd time!

It is so so so painful!

If this time doesn't woek i am having the tip of my finger taken off next time! nice....

rlbates said...

Nat, sure hope it works for you this time.

Keith said...

Had shooting pain behind my little finger nail for 10 years but thought it was just a trapped nerve or something. My GP hadn't a clue. No visible clues so I look a complete wimp when my finger gets a slight knock and I crease up in pain. Just diagnosed as a GT so I'm looking forward to getting the little bstd cut out.
Nat.. Often thought about chopping off the end of my finger! Good luck mate.

Inmaculada said...

I had mine removed from the right index last Friday after 10 years of not knowing what it was!!
Still very painful, awaiting biopsy results and hope the sucker does not grow back.

Anonymous said...

Hello to all, me I have a glomus tumor in my left pinky finger. I lived with it for years before I had it diagnosed. I went to our town hospital and they misdiagnosed it 4 times. Then I finally went to my private doctor who then referred me to a hand doctor. I had surgery April 25, 2007. Now my tumor is back and it is hurting worse than ever. I have set an appointment back up. Hopefully it will be totally removed because this is extreme pain. I agree with Mel. Mine came back and is worse as far as pain. Makes you want to knock something or someone out. Thank god I have only the blue bruise because I have seen some pictures on here and the fingers look bad.

Anonymous said...

allyson, your description is right on. i have lived with a very painful spot at the base of my right thumbnail. the slightest tap felt like a hammer hitting my thumb. i went to my orthopaedist who sent me to a dermatologist. he finally diagnosed it as a glomus tumor and sent me back to my ortopaedist. i see him next week. i hope something can be done.

Anonymous said...

I had a glomus tumor that was removed almost 7 years ago. Now it is back and when I had the MRI the size was about the same as my previous one. I am having surgery next week to have it removed.

Anonymous said...

My domestic cat had a glomus tumor on his left paw. Very rare find in animals. Removed witout incident.

Anonymous said...

I went to seven different doctors over the course of 8 years before getting diagnosed with a glomus tumor in my right pinky. It was the worst pain I had ever had in my life. After it was removed my symptoms completely disappeared and have not returned. Unfortunately before they figured out it was a glomus tumor, they did surgery on my elbow (ulnar nerve transposition) which took almost three months to recover from and ultimately did nothing for the pain.

L.A. said...

So glad to find others that can relate to the insane pain caused by a glomus tumor.
I had a small blue dot in my thumb nail for years. I would experience horrible pain, but only at night a couple times a month.
Keith - I too thought it was some sort of nerve issue. I also felt like an idiot complaining that "my thumb hurt"! The frequency of the pain starting increasing from a couple times a month to weekly to almost every night. I finally went to the doctor who referred me to an orthopic surgeon that specialized in hands. I was so relieved to actually have an answer to what caused this ridulous pain. Had the surgery and was pain free for almost 2 years. Recently, the familiar pain came back and I fear that the tumor is back -it hurts worse than ever.
My question for everyone is about their surgeries. I was under a general anasthesia the first time- a full blown surgery. Did anyone just have a nerve block to their arm and not have to be put completely out? The recovery was hell and I'm really not looking forward to losing my nail and the entire ordeal. Also, any advise to help with the pain until I have it removed again? So far, all that I can find that helps is pain pills, red wine and a heating pad!

Anonymous said...

Two days ago, I had a glomus tumor removed from under the nail bed of my left index finger. I had been living with it for 17 years. My doctor sent me to numerous specialists but they were all stumped. Finally one day last year, I looked up 'warped nail' online and found the glomus tumor diagnosis. I took it to my doctor who then immediately sent me to a plastic surgeon. To finally have it diagnosed was so wonderful - I nearly cried with joy/relief.

Although the finger is throbbing in pain right now post-op, I look forward to being able to use and touch my left index finger without excruciating pain.

(Regarding the procedure, I was awake and they used the pain block method.)

Elizabeth said...

I have a Glomus Tumor under my left thumb nail that I am having removed next week. I have opted to be awake for the procedure. I'm not sure at this time how the procedure will be preformed, but I do know that it will be in the hospital and consider day surgery. I'm wondering if anyone can tell me what the post op was like and how long it took to recover and go back to work?

Anonymous said...

I had intense pain when my elbow would bump a table or desk - not the funny bone kind but an acute stabbing pain that would make me cringe in pain. There was a tiny barely visible red mark under my skin. My GP sent me to a dermatologist who dug it out (local anesthesia). The biopsy took 3 weeks until they diagnosed it as a glomus tumor. Now its back in the exact same spot. What type of specialist should I see for this?

rlbates said...

Anon (3-20-09) -- I would suggest a plastic surgeon or a hand surgeon. Take you old pathology report with you.

rlbates said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I have a glomus tumor in my right pinky finger. I thought it was a bone chip pushing on a nerve from when I crushed and broke my finger years ago but the pain did not start until years after the initial break. My Primary Care or general practitioner stated it was probably just nerve damage and told me to take pills that made your nerves not as sensitive. It did not hlep and I thought it was a stupid idea, because I would not feel pain as it should be felt, which is your bodys warning signal! lol So he sent me to a hand joint and bone specialist and I am having surgery 4/2/09. In 3 days. I am not happy at all to let someone cut into me, but there were days were I hid the hedge clippers because I was having dreams of cutting off my finger it was sooooo bad! I have a high tolerance for pain, so I really feel for people that do not! Anyway, after hours of research, I am coming up with a 5-50% chance of re-occurence, and it is believed to be because the entire mass was not removed. So I figure I am telling my Dr, he has one chance to get it out, if I have to come back I will be pissed!
I would like to hear more post-op stories, so I know what I am going to experience afterwards.
Good luck everyone!

Elizabeth said...

I had my surgery 3 weeks ago tomorrow. I'm doing well now with just a little bit of discomfort and sensitivity and went back to work after 2 weeks. It was really painful for the first week, as I don't tolerate painkillers very well and ended up throwing up on the 3rd day, so I had to stop taking them. My surgeon has told me that there is a 30% chance of it coming back. I hope I fall into the 70%. The surgery itself, I opted to be awake. They gave me a sedative and froze my whole thumb. Other then the poke of the needles I didn’t feel anything and the freezing lasted for hours after the surgery, which was nice. They had taken the nail off, but placed it back on to protect the nail bed and act as a splint. It still has not fallen off and I’m not looking forward when it does. So really now I’m just waiting for everything to go back to normal and see what the end result is going to look like.

Anonymous said...

I had mine removed from my left pinky on 17 March 09 and was put completely under. After about 13 days, the pain returned. I'm afraid the hand orthopedic didn't remove the whole thing or maybe it is part of the healing process. It isn't sensitive to cold anymore; however, the pain still comes and goes as if the glomus tumor is still there. Does anyone know how long the recover is and if the pain should feel like this?

Rani

Elizabeth said...

I'm going on 3 1/2 weeks since my surgery and there is a little bit of discomfort, but no pain. Everyone heals at a different rate and has different reactions to pain. I have a pretty high tolerance. I am pretty much back to doing everything I did before, with a few exceptions as it is still is a little sensitive to the touch.

Anonymous said...

I need to schedule for surgery, I'm so scared. The glomus is in my left thumb. Do they take out the nail? And yeah I've lived with it for years without knowing what it was. The pain at the base of the fingernail is excruciating and it's extremely sensitive to cold. OMG I wish there was a way to treat it without surgery.

Anonymous said...

I live in South Africa, had a glomus tumor of fingertip, with amupatation in 1987, I currently have 2 fingertips with same symptoms for 3 years progression to be very bad at the moment, I tried so hard not to loose them, but looks like it is my doom , so sad that through dermacologist treatment, there still is no preventative cure, but amputation that really fully help.
my deepest thoughs with everone in so much pain as me
joretha

Anonymous said...

I too have had pain in my left pinky finger for years. My GP also didn't know what it was and prescribed arthritis meds which did nothing. Finally, I went to a hand surgeon who knew immediately that it was a GT. I had the MRI to confirm and am scheduled for OP surgery on June 4, 2009. I am happy to finally have a diagnosis and an answer to why my finger hurts so badly when only lightly bumped or knocked. It is like slamming your finger in a car door! :(

megan said...

i had a glomus tumor under my thumb nail. i had it removed in january . that was 4 months ago. the pain is bac. it came bac after about 2 weeks after my op. i was completly knocked out to have it done. im due to have another appointment later on this year with mt orthopedic surgoen.could anyone give me advice about why its still hurting.is it just healing pain or is the tumor bac.

Mel said...

I posted a comment on here a while ago...I had a glomus tumor removed from my left little finger on 9/26/06 and began having pains again about a year later. I went back to my plastic surgeon and she didn't seem to believe me and said it was probably just scar tissue hurting me. I had an MRI done on it and she said it showed a shadow but she had no reason to think it was the tumor. I'm having the EXACT same pain as before, only it's much worse, and I'm also having some pain in the finger next to it now as well. I called today and made an appt to go back and try to talk to her again. This is unbearable, I'm in agony! Has anyone found anything that helps to ease the pain? All I want to do is sleep because it hurts so much sometimes. :(

Tash said...

Posted a comment on 14/04/09. I had surgery 2 days ago, the Dr said that it does not guarantee that the GT will come out as it is not distinguishable from other tissues and cells. But during surgery he found it, there were 2 pin head size tumors. Lets hope the pain does not come back and that he got everything out.

There's nothing to stop the pain, i sometimes used voltaren and it seemed to ease a bit (doesn't quite make sense though) .. and of course keep it warm always :)

megan said...

hi tash. i was just wandering what type of anesthesia you had and i want to just wish you the best and hope it dosnt come bac

megan

Tashreen said...

Hi Megan, they just froze my thumb and put a tourniquet on. I took out the bandages during the week end and I was surprised to see that my nail was still there . The tumor was under my nail bed but the Dr has done a pretty good job. I dunno how he reached the tumors but it was a neat incision on my thumb just near the nail.. I doubt it will even leave a scar. I was so scared but I went in the cold and there was not pain at all.. So fingers crossed …hope it doesn’t come back.

Anonymous said...

Had a GT removed 2 times on my pinky finger. First time it was a breeze. This time the tumor had little tenticles that ran off of it and wrapped around the nerve. I've had sharp pin and needle pain for two weeks since the surgery. Just now starting to lesson in frequency.

debbie said...

Hi im 41 and just found out what the 11 year old agony in my left thumb is, im having it out in 4weeks im left handed and its been so painful over the years i asked my GP if i could have my thumb tip amputated!i can't wait for my 1year old to be able to grab hold my thumb without me pulling my hand away like a loony, when i knock my thumb i get a shooting pain up my arm waits a few seconds then rushes back down like moulton rock i have a high pain tolerance but omg is all i will say. I can stay awake and watch my op just to see that little blighter go for good glomus fingers crossed good luck to all x

Michael said...

Just want to share my experiences with my GT, in case it helps someone.
I went through 5 years of agonizing pain before getting it diagnosed and taken out. I was actually quite fascinated at the end by the amount of pain that could come out of a light press of such a tiny spot!! Most people around me thought i was just exaggerating or that i imagined the whole thing. "You probably just squeezed your finger somewhere, get over it" was the most common response. It was a bit frustrating that noone wanted to recognize what i was going through.
I had it taken out under local anasthetic, with a few stitches put in there afterwards to maintain the shape of the finger. It was painful on and off the first two weeks after surgery, but once stitches were taken out it was fine. My nail grew back completely flawless and my finger looked totally normal.
Although a year after i noticed a blue spot under my nail (slightly different location) and the pain started to come back. So i had it removed once again and am now just out of the second surgery, typing this with one hand.

There are quite a few posts here saying the tumour has come back after removal, which is worrying. I have read and was told that there is only a very small risk or reoccurence. Although, thinking about it, most people probably wouldn't be on this forum unless you either have a GT, or having a reoccurence. So all those people with successful removal just put it behind them. No need to see a GT forum if you are well. So i hope it's not as bad as it first seems.

Good luck all and hope you get rid of your GT's for good!

Anonymous said...

After many years of intense pain in left thumb, I finally found the answer myself in a book of hand surgery. Took this to my doc who said 'Hmmm' and sent me to a specialist. He said "Yeah" and booked me in for day surgery. That was agonising esp the internal stitches BUT now, years later, the thumb is GREAT!!! No pain. A little bit of dead nerve but Hey - small price to pay. However, have now another one in my right little finger and after a really severe knock the other day, which is still causing agonising pain- I am considering surgery again. Good luck to all - it is actually nice to hear the same symptoms described and to know one is not a wimp re the pain!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi glomus tumour friends!
I've just been to see my surgeon today and he's removing it in August 09 in Surrey, England. I've had this odd shaped finger with no pain for 3 years, but suddenly after the birth of my third child it's throbbing. Slightest knock and it hurst like crazy. It doesn't wake me up at night though. I'm nervous about the surgery and opted for general but after talking to my gran she says I should always take local if offered, so I'm going to go for that. My dad thinks I should have radiation done first before surgery. Has anyone heard of treating glomus's with radiation?
Also, I'm reading these posts and thinking, hmm, my tumour doesn't hurt that bad. But I do have a huge swelling, like my finger is clubbed and my pain in closer to the joint. No blue spot, slight red/pink spot under the nail be. My nail has almost doubled in size too, it's really unsitely.
My surgeon says it may be a osteoid osteoma. Have any of you had that probable diagnosis? I even had a MRI and they still couldn't tell.
I'm not looking forward to this, I'm a massage therapist and need my finger! Hoping to get rid of the little bastard - hope it never returns to haunt me.

megan said...

hi Anonymous i had a glomus tumor removed from my thumb and had a general anesthetic. i think its better to be asleep and they numbed it afterwards. as for the radiation. i dont think you should have it cancerous glomus tumors are almost unheard of.write back to me and let me know how it goes
good luck

megan

megan said...

i just want to ask everyone on the site what type of anesthesia you had and what it was like. i might need another op and was just wandering

megan

Tash said...

Glomus tumor is non cancerous so radiation is not required. It's better to go for local anaesthetic, when you opt for the genral you won't feel very well for a few days. I went back to work after 2 days!!! It's not worth the bother of going thru the ordeal of a general anaesthetic i think!

Gman said...

I just had a glomus tumor removed from my back (just above the spine). Suffered for 7+ years with extreme back pain. Several doctors thought I had spinal arthritus. In any event, it was removed in 15 minutes and now I feel like I'm 18 again. It's amazing how this tiny red spot on my back caused so much pain.

nikkie said...

I have had 5 surgeries for glomus tumors! They hurt like heck! Two years ago, I had my first surgery on my right middle finger, the plastic surgen had to go and and remove it again, because he did not get it all! Then, he had to remove a GT from my left ring finger and right ring finger. This past month, I had to get GT's removed from my thumb and toe, What pain, what pain, WHAT PAIN. I just got the stitches taken out last wednesday. I am still in a little pain from the removals, but nothing like before! Good luck to anyone who has this problem, IT IS NO CAKE WALK!

Anonymous said...

I have two spots underneath my nails. One developed on the thumbnail, on the pink part. A couple of weeks later, another developed on the middle fingernail of the same hand

They both started as round, dark pink with lighter center. The first one gradually grew in size, the upper edge reached the white part of the nail. Then it gradually turned tan/light brown (like a bruise lightens over time), so it's not as visible, but the edges of the circle can still be seen. After it grew, it turned part of my nail that used to be pink, white; The white part of my nail now starts lower down on the nail than it used to. A couple days ago, I got another one under my middle finger nail. This time it's painful. It looks a bit like and feels like my nail got crushed or banged (pressure).

The first one had occasional pain on the pad of my thumb: when grasping some items, it felt like a porcupine was under my skin. The thumb pain was only at certain times. The middle finger hurts constantly: pressure and throbbing, some burning. There is some temperature sensitivity, but I have another condition whose symptoms include temperature sensitivity, so I can't say for sure which one is causing the sensitivity. Although, the middle finger is more temperature sensitive and for longer periods than the other fingers.

Saw two doctors, trying to figure out what this is. Could this be a glomus tumor? If not, any ideas? One doctor suggested a dermatologist. Any help would be appreciated.

Could anyone point to a resource for more pictures of this type of tumor, so I can compare and possibly bring the pictures to the doctor next time?

megan said...

hi i think you should go see an orthopedist. i saw an orthopedist and he knew what it was right away. hope this help. sorry no pics

meganxx

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Megan for the doctor suggestion. I will look into an orthopedist.

megan said...

hi
just glad i coulod help.
let me know how it geos
megan xx

megan said...

hi its megan
ive been bec to c my surgeon because i still have pain in my thumb nearly 8 months after surgery. he says its probibly recurred. ive been sent to have an mri scan of my thumb in 4 weeks. has anyone had an mri on there hand . if anyone has could you let me know what it feels like and what happens
get bac to me
megan
xx

Nat said...

Megan.
I have had 3 MRI's on my hand with each glomus tumors i had. It involved me lying on my front in as they called it 'the superman position' the sacn itself is painless, just a little time consuming as they said its hard to see glomus tumors i think i was in there for at least 45 mins each time!!!!! the sanner is very noisy, and you are in a capsule but at any time you want out you just press a button which is reassuring. They talk to you in the scanner to keep you informed of what they are doing. One time i did have an injection which apparently helps them to see tumors, but the last two times i didn't. It really is fine. X

megan said...

kl thanks.
that will help.
im still nervous but im sure ill be fine.did u have to wear a gown and did your results come back conclusive
get bac to me
thanks
meganxxx

megan said...

hi nat.
when u got your tumors taken out were u awake or did you have a general anesthetic. if you did have a regional anesthetic what was it like.im thinking of having this if i need another op. and did you get any sedation
megan
xxxxxxxxx

Nat said...

Megan.
results were conclusive all 3 times yes. I'm sure i did wear a gown. Had General Anaesthetics each time, advised to as nerves involved. Had a ring block on base of finger each time to whilst i was asleep which helped with post op pain.
Natalie. X

megan said...

kl thanks
i hope i can get a general anesthetic
i get chlostropobic in small spaces but i cant wait for it to be over
thanks
megan
xxxxx

Lea (was anonymous) said...

Had my supposed glomus tumour removed 1 week ago. They went in through the finger pad and left my nail alone. It was biopsied and it's not actually a glomus but a enchondroma, a cartalige cyst. It was the size of a pea!
The stitches hurt like heck too, but it's similar to the pain it caused before op so I'm not that annoyed, just glad it's all over. I had a local arm block then light sedation so slept throughout the op but awoke in theatre right after with loads of questions. It swelled really bad and felt terrible the first 5 days post-op. I lost the feeling in the top of my finger so keep banging it all the time. Damn.

Anonymous said...

Hi all, it is soo good to hear other people talk about wanting to chop thier finger off.. i have just been told i have a glomus tumor in the pulp of my little finger.. i have had the pain for 5 years but kept ignoring it cause i though it would sound silly to the doc. i am having it chopped out tomorrow under a local. fingers crossed it doesnt come back. Im not really sure what to expect post op.. its not under my nail so hopefully that makes for an easier recovery. will be soo glad to get rid of this little but sooo painful pea in my finger. Im in Melbourne Australia.

Sunshine said...

I had 3 (2001-2003) surgeries on my right middle finger before they finally figured out what it was. I would literally point and show the doctor where it hurt, but did he listen, NO!!

With all 4 surgeries I was given what they called Twilight Anesthesia.

I finally changed doctors and he did an MRI and the Radiologist found the Tumor. When I went in for the last surgery (2004) I actually told the doctor the if he can't or doesn't find it I want him to remove the tip of my finger, because I had had enough of the pain. The pain was so bad that even something very soft would cause pain if it touched it.

The 1st 3 surgeries the doctor removed part of the nerve & now I have little to no feeling in that finger & a nasty looking scar from the tip of the finger to the base. THANKS DOC!

I have been pain free since 2004 & I sincerly hope that it doesn't come back.

megan said...

hi its megan
ive just had my mri. it took about 30 mins-45mins.felt like a lifetime. i had to get an iv in my hand and had the contrast die injected. getting my results next month. cant wait

Tammy said...

Hi There,

OMG - I just found this site and can`t believe there are others like me. I have been experiencing excruciating pain in my right ring finger under my nail for 15 years. Because it was injured when I was 8 my GP said it was an old injury that did not heal properly and there was nothing he could do. Also thought it could be arthritis. Anyways I could not take it anymore, I would not even let my husband hold my hand, I could not sleep at night, was scared to shake people`s hands out of fear that they would touch my finger... so I went to my GP`s office and cried and told him he had to help me.

I was refered to a Plastic Surgeon who thought that I was imagining the pain since an Xray & ultrasound showed nothing. She asked me if I was traumatized by my injury when it happened and maybe that that is why it was so painful and that I may have a low tolerance to pain. Can you believe it!!

Anyways she said as a last resort she could surgically go in and take a look (local anesthesia) after I kept insisting that this was a real problem, this was Dec 08. To her surprise she found the Glomus and said to me `wow it must have felt like a hammer hitting you everytime your finger was touched` I basically said i told you so...

Unfortunately I am pretty sure the tumor is back. It is blue under my nail and I have not been able to sleep at night and of course don`t even talk about anyone or anything touching it. I have a follow-up in 2 weeks.

Thanks everyone for the posts, it has helped me feel like I am not so weird and that the pain is real!

megan said...

its megan
feeling really peed off. nobody seems to think that my tumor is severely painful nobody understands apart from people that have had it and there few and far between. im sick of it and cant wait to see ma sureon in a few weeks. So glad this website is here if it wasnt i dont know what id do. somethimes i just feel like cutting off my own thumb but i would never do that but thats what i feel like

megan

Anonymous said...

I had my GT removed about 10 days ago. I can't believe I had to live with that for over 15 years. It was extremely painful when cold, and it was getting more sensitive as I age. The surgery took about 20 mins, and I didn't even need pain medication after 24 hours as it was nothing compare to how GT hurt! I am looking forward to a pain-free winter :)
btw- I actually diagnosed myself by finding this blog- SO THANK YOU ALL

Anonymous said...

Wow,I'm so glad i found this site. I'm 22 and had a GT removed when I was 18. I first realized the pain when I was around 15. After I got it removed, from my left ring finger, I had to become right handed for several months. Sadly, it grew back once my finger healed and the nail grew back.Now the pain is much worse and often times it happens during random moments (also during cold temperatures and any type of pressure).

The pain hurts so much! It's on my left hand and I'm left handed. I would not want to go back for surgery. It's a waste of time and money. If there's anyway I can ease the pain somehow please let me know. I really don't want to have surgery again.

email: youni06@gmail.com

megan said...

hey eneryone need some advice here

I had a glomus tumor removed as i have pobibly said before and im getting this one removed soon hopefully. now my surgeon never carried out any tests on the tumor after it was removed and because its grown back so quickly im a bit scared because ive heard of cases of milignancy(cancerous) of the tumor so should i ask the surgeon to carry out any pathology tests on this one that hes about to remove

any advice would really help thanks.

megan

megan said...

i went to see my surgeon yesterday and he said that the mri could either be a glomus tumor or somethin else but i cant remember. he wants to do another op so now im just waitin for a date but i dont know if im havin a general or local/regional anesthetic.

megan said...

im having my op on the 3rd of december so cant wait well a bit nervous but u know itll all be good wen its done
megan

Anonymous said...

I have suffered from the agonising pain you all describe for the past 5 years, (i'm 19,female,and in the uk), but I was able to handle it until recently, because of my new job. I seem to have chosen the worst job possible for a person with GT; I work in and handle things in cold environments- anywhere from -18 to 5 degrees celcius. I got referred to an orthopedic surgeon who immediately recognised a glomus tumor under the nail of my left ring finger, and I am scheduled for surgery on the 20th november-I can't wait. The thought that i'll be able to live my life free of this pain has me in a perpetual good mood, i'm just counting down the days. Good luck to all other GT sufferers, hope it goes well for you all.

megan said...

c if ur a person that had a glomus tumor come bak and got a mri was the surgeon sure it was another tumor and not scar tissue and when the surgeon operated it was scar tissue and wat do u do if u have scar tissue cause im scedualed for an op in early december and i think its scar tissue iv had an mri and the surgeon dosnt know if its a tumor or scar tissue and wat could i have done to make sure it a tumor the pian is there but not as severe r there any more test please help im panicing
thankx

nat said...

i was told if they left one little cell when they remove tumor then this will grow back to another tumor, that is why it is common for them to grow back. I have had 3 taken out, and i think this time it has done it as been painfree for coming up 2 years now! I personally don't think scar tissue would hurt as much as GT, each time mine grew back the pain was different, still very painful though, never want to feel pain like that again!

megan said...

wat anesyhetic did use have and wat was ur ecperiences in the operating room were u nervous

nat said...

i had generals each time and a ring block of the finger to ease the pain post op..... i was nervous each time but it was never as bad as i made out in my head.

megan said...

thanks nat for ur comments i apprecieat them
megan
x

Tash said...

I had my op around may 09 and a couple of months ago ..the symptoms are back :( the intensity was less than before the OP but as the days go by the intensity of the pain is growing :( .. i don't think i want to go for an operation again ..

It felt so good for a few weeks or 2 months to be able to walk without being scared that I might knock my thumb or b scared of the cold .. but hey .. i can't be bothered anymore ....

I guess i'll learn to live with the pain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

megan said...

rite as u know im havin another op and i had a mri and it showed something was there but the surgeons not sure if its a tumor or scar tissue. he said that in the last op ha scooped a big bit of bone out tof my thumb and that it was pretty unlikely that it would come bak. is there a chance that it would come bak.

megan said...

im having my op in 2 weeks and i cant remember how long it took for my thumb to be healed and how long is it before the bandage can come off for good. will it be in time for christmas.
im having it dine on the 3rd december this year
thanks

Anonymous said...

When I was 16 I a glomus tumor under the fingernail of my middle finger. I believe that pain all started when I got acrylic nails. They filed my orginial nail bed down and soon after the pain started. The pain was unbearable even with the slightest pressure! I remember pinching the base of my finger to try to counter-pressure the pain. I visited a few small town doctors who conducted x-rays for possible glass or metal fragments, they found nothing. There was no discoloration or visible signs at all. Finally, I asked my mom to schedule an apt. to have my finger amputated. She then, took me very seriously. We went to a plastic surgeon who diagnosed me immediately. I had a "block surgery" and they ended up removing the entire nail, removing the microscopic tumor and then sticking my nail back on as a protective barrier. They placed a finger splint over my finger until my new fingernail grew out. It was ugly, but they pain went away! I'm now 36 and occasionally, I get twinges of pain back in the same nail. I worry that the tumor is slowing growing back. Mine does not hurt in hot or cold, just went I touch or hit it a certain way.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who had surgery for removal of GT, how long did it take you to recover and put your finger to normal use. I had mine removed 17 days ago and still feel some discomfort and tenderness...I am really scared and hope that it all went out...

megan said...

i also had an op just 2 weeks ago and still have my stitches in gettin them out 2moro. hope it dont hurt to much. im still very uncomfortable with mine but it will get better
megan

Anonymous said...

Megan, how r u? How is it going with your post surgery/stitches? I still have stitches will be 3 weeks on the 18th of December and that is the same day of visit to doc for removal of the stitches. For me, it all seems to be getting better extremely slowly. Even if it takes weeks, as long as its gone, then I dont mind waiting, however, I can't tell if GT is gone for good or if it will still be there...that in itself is so frustrating..The wait, that is. :(

megan said...

hiya
im doin ok but i went to get my stitches out on tuesday just gone by. i had 2 holding my nail on and 4 above my nail. one of the once above my nail got stuck and was extremely painful so the surgeon came to c me and said its just to be left and it will come out as my new nail grows in but im not so sure. the surgeon said that he didnt find anything but has sent a sample to the lab. i think its to early to tell if its made a difference but im going bac to c him at the end of february.mines is also getting better extremely slowly i cant even bend my thumb and its really swollen. i wish u luck that it dosnt come back and get better soon
megan

roger said...

hi ive had 6 operations to the top of my head where i had trauma to the same spot 6 years ago. i was wondering if someone could put me in the right direction to get this problem sorted once and for all.the first excision was diagnosed as glomus tumor which was about 3 and half years after the accident to my head. then about 6 to 8 weeks after my first op another painful lesion grew very close to the first. this has been going on the same way for the last 4 ops. i went to china to get treatment. when i came home another lesion appeared and has been there for the last 2 years.my life is full of pain and unhappyness. i cant work due to the pain and fatiuge this problem gives. could somebody please give me some hope to cure this awfull pain. i live new zealand and will travel to any destination to releive this pain.thanks.

roger said...

i was wondering if you could help me i live in new zealand and have been living with exsesive pain for 6 years and 6 operations later and still these little painful lesions appear. my first excision was diagnosed as glomus tumor the others wre too small to diagnose. ive been to china as well.

megan said...

hi roger
i dont know what to say
my surgeons relly good but i live in the UK. he diagnosed me straight away. hes an orthopedic surgeon. it did grow back but mine was under my nail. u should get a surgeon to do a wide excision around it to make sure watever it is dont come back
sorry i coundnt be more helpful.

roger said...

hi megan i found this website looking for others who have or are having problems with glomus tumors. i didnt relise they are so common. here in nz they are as common as hens teeth. especially if your a guy.to answer your note i hoped the first op was going to get rid of the problem. i asked for an mri then but was told that i didnt need one. i wished i kept to my guns and got one. the thing with the med system here where quite reserved to say you have something that is rare and you get shuned by the med service. thats why i went over seas to get treatment. has anyone heard of these getting to any other part of the body. this being quite close to my brain dont feel that great. im just happy that winters over here and we have some warm weather. another question does anyone know why they grow back and has anyone had radiothearapy to stop them growing.

roger said...

is there anything bar warmth that helps with the pain. ive been reading the blogs a little bit closer and alot of people say that no meds help. ive just about gone round the bend and back trying all the meds about and like one of the comments said nothing seems to take all he pain away. to all the gt sufferers out there merry xmas. im just glad ive found out that im not the only one suffering this ordeal (lol) and we might be able to get through this. it seems a lonely world out there when the meds dont work you cant work then the little bugger grows back. thank god for the internet.

megan said...

hi roger
they r not that common there quite rare actually and they grow back because if there is even on cell of it left it can develop so thats y i suggested haveing a wider excision
megan

Anonymous said...

thanks megan. i tried that the first time but the lesion grew back within a centremetre of the first and then the third grew a little further away and so on. thats why im asking has anyone had radio therapy before. this is happening on the top of my head it looks a bit like the moon with chunks taken out all around the area i had the knock to my head. i need to know of a good doc that can get rid of the tumors for good. this is my life that im talking about im in so much pain. people talk about chopping there finger or thumb off sometimes i feel like cutting this tumor out with a knife or something just to get rid of the pain. i could possibly put up with the pain of the cut but i dont want to bleed to death. my first tuomor was growing into my skull because it had been there for 3 years and this one i have now has been there for two so far and feels like the first one after this time and feels like its starting to drill itself in my skull aswell. does the owner of this blog answer the blogs herself. i wouldnt mind if she could give me some advice. sorry megan but im quite urgent about getting some medical advice aswell as some sufferers notes. i got on to this website because dr bates was in australia some time ago and i googled "glomus tumor in australia" and thats why i want to talk to dr bates.

rlbates said...

Roger,
I have never been to Australia, so I have no ideal who to send you to there. I seem to have "lost" control of the comment section on this blog post some time ago. It seems to have turned into a "forum"

Perhaps consulting with the plastic surgery or ENT department at one of the prominent medical universities in Australia would be a good place for you to go for another opinion and hopefully treatment.

RL Bates, MD

Jerry said...

Thanks for posting a Great and Informative blog about Glomus tumors. I self diagnosed myself with glomus tumors through the symptons I have. I also have Neurofibromatosis so I know a thing or two about tumors..
I'm now very sensitive to the cold. It even hurts to shop in the frozen food and handling cold objects brings on the PAIN. It hurts like a MoFo as Allyson said.
I'm going to share this blog with my NFriends who have the same symptons and problems.

rlbates said...

Thank you, Jerry.

roger said...

thanks dr bates. im sorry i thought i saw a comment on a link that you did go to melbourne, australia. im tring to get hold of the hospitals in australia. this is a good site to get to know about glomus tumors and especialy hearing about others that suffer with this condition. i hope you continue to answer some questions from us sufferers because there seems to be alot of people out there who are searching for help. im greatful for others who have written in on this blog or forum and its great. i been suffering with this for so long i was becoming very depressed and even suicidle. im very interested if someone has had radiotherapy to stop these things growing back. thankyou.

Katie said...

I am SO relieved to find people that know what a GT feels like! I have been wondering for 15 years what the blue-pink bump on my right hand was and why it hurt so very much when touched or when exposed to cold.

Most times for me it was just a nuisance, but I was sick of it so I began at my primary care doctor's office. The doctor listed a few things it could be but in the end I was told, "when in doubt, take it out." I scheduled a consultation with a plastic surgeon. He speculated it was a tumor of sorts and we scheduled an in-office surgery.

I had "Local anesthesia" injected at the site and a tourniquet was used. The anesthesia was not strong enough the first round and I could feel the cutting. I had to have more injected and even then, there was still detectable sharp pinching. I blame the tumor and all those nerves attached. That tumor was not giving up without a fight!

Once the anesthesia wore off, I was surprised how much my hand hurt. It hurt more around the site and into my palm than where the stitches were. About 4 days later, I was able to stop taking pain relievers.

It has been 14 days since the surgery. The stitches have been removed and the biopsy confirmed the GT. I was told the random stabbing pain will go away and that the sensitivity at the site will heal and go away. After reading some of the posts, I worry that it may never stop being sensitive or that it may come back. Time will tell...

Now, does anyone know if there is a connection between Raynaud's syndrome and glomus tumors?

I have Raynauds and after reading that some GTs have been mistaken for Raynauds, I wonder if they go hand in hand or if it is just a coincidence.

rlbates said...

Katie, I have never read anything that would suggest that glomus tumors and Raynaud's syndrome go hand-in-hand. Stay hopeful that yours won't return.

Anonymous said...

Megan, how are you? How is your finger? Mine is still a bit sensitive. I press where I used to have the tumor and it does not hurt. However, I sometimes feel some strange stabbing sharp pains, but its felt throughout the scar and its not frequent nor excruciating but I do worry ...just traumatized I guess.I dont know if the sensations or stabbing sharp pains are becuase of IT or because its still healing. Doc said it should take about 3 months atleast for the scar to heal. It's still reddish (which is normal cuz its healing). I pray that its gone for good :(

roger said...

i hope everyone had a good christmas and new year. im still asking if someone has had radiotherapy for gt's. thanks.

Anonymous said...

Roger, sorry no, not me. I only had wide excision on mine. Took only about 20 minutes and will take a total of atleast 3 months after that for it to totally heal and praying that it will be gone for good. Sorry about your problem. BTW, if it helps, I am in the USA and that is where I got mine treated.

megan said...

hi
my thumb is till sore but thats cause i got an infection in it and it dont want to go away. my nail is goin to fall of soon i think but ill let u know how it is. how r u.
megan

Keith said...

Hi all. I had an op last Monday to sort my right little finger out. All the symptoms of a GT but it didn't show up on X-Ray or MRI scan. Surgeon said he found a small abnormality which he was sending for analysis. Worst part was removing the dressing 2 days after the op - it had completely stuck to my nail bed (he took the nail off). A nurse had to rip the dressing off - it was excruciating. No dressing on now. It's scabbed over but still very tender. I'm really looking forward to being able to clap my hands again!

Lia said...

Hi. Last year i went to my family doctor and he said that my gt might just be someting on my bone and sent me to a hand doctor. I told the hand doctor about the excruciating pain and he sent for an mri and xray. Aftr using contrast, it showed that i did have a gt. The stupid doctor said that he wouldnt do surgery on it becuase it might get worse. Now i can'tlet anyone touch my thumb. Nobody believes me and they think i'm making it all up! I'm so happy i found other people with the same problem. Now i'm seeing a renowned hand doctor who hopefully will be able to take it out!

Anonymous said...

hi. i've just foud out i have a glomus tumor on my breast. disovered thru the very paiful task of breastfeedig. my baby is only 8 weeks old. dr sd very rare for it to be o the breast, but after reading all this i'm really scared. anyone ever heard of this kind before? i have to stop feeding my baby before surgery?
i'm seeing the dr again i 2 weeks.

Jules said...

OMG - the breast how terrible!!! I had never heard of GTs until Nov last year when mine was diagnosed after 5 yrs of pain and bruising under nail. Sat beside a doc who had been a GP for 30 yrs on the plane last weekend after returning from surgery and he had never heard of them either. No wonder we can't get them diagnosed.

Mine came up like a Xmas tree light bulb on the MRI and I had a general anesthetic. Surgery went well and finger looks clean although black and blue under the nail which he stitched back on. It will fall off he said. He said I may need a graft from the nail bed of my toe if the nail doesn't grow back properly!!!

Problem is the pains are back and are 10 times worse than before I had the thing removed. Surgeon said it would take 2 mths to settle but i won't be able to put up with this for 2 mths. Am not back at work and still unable to do stuff because of the pain..chopping off the top of my finger is an option.

Ron said...

Hi, I was curious to find out if anyone had a previous injury to the fingernail prior to getting a GT.
I had taken a blow to the thumb nail over twenty years ago. The nail cracked and cut the bed. It healed well but over the years became more sensitive to cold and touch. Now there's visible red/blue spot inside a pinkish area and a pinkish stripe running up the nail and it hurts all the time, A LOT! My instinct is to run it under hot water which kind of helps.
Went to a dermatologist, he almost seemed excited, which scares me because the last time a doctor was this excited it was because he discovered a relatively rare, highly curable, cancer unrelated to fingernail cancer (subungual). It was like he found a hundred dollar bill on the ground!
I cut to the chase and am seeing a hand surgeon this week but I'm scared to death. I'm a drummer and NEED my thumb, it's key to my livelihood.
There seems to be an incidence of injury prior to subungual cancer and there is a higher incidence among darker skinned ethnicity, Bob Marley being the most famous. I don't fit the typical criteria other than the injury, which healed properly.
So, again, has any body experienced an injury before the GT?
Thanks

Keith said...

Hi Ron. I'm a semi-pro drummer and had a GT removed from my right little finger about 5 weeks ago. Within 2 weeks I was playing again and it's not causing me any problems.
I had no injury prior to getting a GT, so I'm not sure about the link. Mine was so small that it didn't show up on X-Ray or MRI scan, but I insisted they cut me open because I knew what it was and it hurt like hell.

Ron said...

Hi Keith, thanks for writing. My thumb nail had been killing me for so many years, especially in the winter. It never hurts while playing, but occasionally I nick the nail with a stick and, if I'm just practicing, I have to stop and pace around like I hit it with a sledge hammer! If I'm at show, forget it, just grin and bear it. I'm glad to hear you're playing so soon, that's inspiring. I'm beginning to record this week so when the dermatologist mentioned punching a hole in the nail to get a biopsy I decided to wait but the suspense is killing me, literally!
Thanks again!

Keith said...

Hi Ron
Make sure the dressing will come off after the op. They told me to take it off after 2 days but I couldn't because it was stuck to the nail bed. The next day I got a nurse to help me. She just ripped it off and I nearly shot through the roof it was so painful. Some of the dressing got stuck in the wound so I have to go back in tomorrow to have removed before the nail grows back over it!

Ron said...

I'm going to the hand surgeon tomorrow to get evaluated. I'm assuming surgery will be recommended so I'll heed your advice when that happens.
Good luck with your appointment tomorrow, I hope it's as painless as possible.
It would be nice for everyone here to have this problem resolved, it's just an awful feeling. Every time I shake someones hand or hold my girlfriends hand I just expect the nail to get bumped and have that pain explode.
The funny thing is it's such small area on the nail but it's as if there's a bulls eye painted there so people or objects know where to bump it!

Ron said...

I failed to mention when I first posted here how amazing it is to discover others with this problem, who knew! I've had this for so long I just figured that it was normal in a horrible way. Thanks to everyone who's posted, I sincerely wish everyone the best with this strange, painful thing.

Ron said...

Went to the hand surgeon today and after describing the pain the doc took one look at my thumb nail and said it was a GT, possibly two. Having surgery in two weeks. I'm relieved but also skeptical. I've read so many posts here about how they can come back and the doc said that's always a possibility. Anyway, I guess it's better than letting it get bigger and more painful, but I'm not looking forward to the surgery, I know I'll be knocked out but it sounds like recovery won't be so pleasant. Isn't this a form of torture in some countries!?!

Keith said...

Hi Ron
The surgery shouldn't be a problem. Mine took about 20 mins from start to finish - including the local anaesthetic jabs. No pain at all till the jabs wore off, and even then it wasn't too bad. A bit sore for a day or two - just keep the painkillers handy!

I had some stray stitches out yesterday. I had to have another local anaesthetic so the surgeon could tug them out. Absolutely no pain afterwards though.

Good luck - but I'm sure you'll be fine.

Ron said...

Thanks Keith, I'm not sure if they're doing a local or general. I wouldn't complain if they did a general, I've had quite a few surgeries in my time and I just don't care for any tugging and poking while I'm conscious! The doctor did mention there would be a couple of bad days after the surgery but that should be it, though it seems like such a sensitive area to begin with that I thought it would take a while.
I'm happy to hear your day at the doctors went well and pain free.

Jennifer said...

This blog/forum is amazing. My husband has been suffering from a GT for the last year or so and just had it diagnosed. Reading all your comments has given me so much more empathy for him.

We are uninsured, and have been quoted $20K for removal of the GT. It is about the size of a dime & located under his thumb nail. Does anyone know if this is a reasonable price?

Also, has anyone had nerve damage or loss of feeling after the surgery?

TIA for any feedback you can give.

rlbates said...

Jennifer, I don't know where you live but $20K seems very high to me. Your husband should ask (politely) if he could be given Medicare prices (plus 10-20%). Ask if he can be taken to a stand-alone outpatient surgery center. I find they are easier to work with for self-paying patients.

For self-pay/cosmetic patients: My local surgery center charges $840 for the first hour of surgery which is plenty for excision of a glomus tumor. Anesthesia charges $525 for the first hour (at the surgery center).

Even if the most extensive code for excision(CPT 26117) and nail bed repair (CPT 11760) are used, I personally would be unable to charge more than $3000.

Anonymous said...

Hi

I think I have a GT. I have had agonising pain in my finger for 15+ years, and now have a red mark under my nail. I have never seen my doctor about it, I'm too scared. Lately the pain has been waking me at night and I've had to take painkillers for it. I'm terrified of the tests they might do and the agony I must suffer!

Any advice?

Ron said...

Hi Anonymous, You should just bite the bullet and go to the doctor. You need to understand that 1. There's a better chance it's a glomus tumor than something worse and it should be addressed 2. If it is something worse than that you have to take care of it anyway.
I'm a cancer survivor already(something completely unrelated to my hand) and I turned a blind eye to the horrible pain under my thumb nail for almost 20 years, out of fear, until my girlfriend noticed the red spot and stripe on my nail. I knew then that I had to get this looked at. I went to a hand specialist, they said it definitely looked like a GT. I'll have surgery in 10 days and they'll do a pathology on whatever they find.
If you live in or near a big city find a good, experienced and knowledgeable hand specialist(orthopaedist). They will probably look at the spot on the nail and ask if the spot hurts more when pressure is applied and if it hurts more when subjected to cold temps.
They probably won't do anything more, test wise, if they think it's a GT, maybe an MRI, but probably not. They'll book surgery, and you'll probably be knocked out for it.
That's all I can tell you so far, I'll know better about the recovery soon enough and I'll let you know.
I think it will hurt a lot for a few days, that's what painkillers are for, but don't you think it's worth those few days of pain for the possibility of having a lifetime of pain and worry resolved?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ron for your encouragement! I feel I probably will make an appointment to see my doctor now.

I really hope your surgery goes well. Please keep us updated on your progress.

I think my doctor might send me for an x-ray initially, but I can't get my wedding ring off. Is this going to pose a problem, do you think?

Ron said...

I think you should try and get the ring off, whenever I've had an x-ray I've been asked to remove any metal objects in the vicinity of the area they were looking at.
As far as the Dr. is concerned, I would try a hand specialist rather than a GP, if you can. GP's tend to diagnose things in a pyramid type way, meaning, they start at the bottom, with a broad array of possibilities and narrow it down as they eliminate possible problems. It can be very time consuming and may add to your worry and frustration.
You're better off starting with someone specifically trained on the area where your problem is.
I know this from past experience. When I was sick with cancer I kept on going to my GP, I was tired, losing weight and I was having very specific symptoms. My GP started from the bottom and said I had an infection, then said I don't eat enough carbs, then said it was a different infection....after 6 months of this I finally was able to see a specialist. Well, I was diagnosed immediately and after surgery I was told if I had gone in a few months earlier I would have been cured, but instead I had to get 4 months of chemo. I'm cured regardless, but the point is, I should have seen a specialist, it would have saved time, frustration and several months in and out of the cancer treatment center.

Deb said...

(Part 1 of 2) First of all, I must say a HUGE thank you to the blogger (Dr. Bates?) for providing this ad hoc "forum" for those of us with confirmed or suspected glomus tumors. When I took my first ride on the Glomus Tumor Train in 2001, there was frustratingly little information on the Internet. Today, there is a bit more information than there was in 2001, but--surprisingly--not a whole lot more. So this blog post and its comment section are a wonderful gift to us. Thank you. (BTW, I'm a sewer/quilter/knitter too. I love my hands and want to keep them busy with the GOOD kinds of needles!)

I am so glad I found this blog post and all of your comments. I'm 43, and I have lived with this pain for 11 years now, and (like many of you) I've seen countless doctors, undergone countless tests and procedures, and been continuously pushed through the revolving door that always leads me back to exactly where I started--still in pain, with yet another doctor telling me that they can't help me because they can't figure out what's wrong with me, and would I like a referral to another doctor? How can one express that frustration without looking like an emotional wreck? That's been my worst fear all along--that some of the doctors have misinterpreted my tears (when I verbally describe the pain and the years of frustration over feeling ignored and disregarded) as emotional weakness or defect. That's why, with the last two doctors I saw, I wrote out all of my symptoms and gave that written report to them ahead of time. I think that was a very good decision.

My story is a long one, but here's the synopsis: I started having the pain that you all know too well in my left little finger in 1999. Over the next two years, I saw more doctors and underwent more horrible tests and procedures than I care to recall. (A couple of torture-chamber standouts were the stellate-ganglion block [to rule out reflex sympathetic dystrophy, or RSD] and the multiple nerve-conduction tests. Yowza.) Finally, in 2001, a hand surgeon suspected a glomus tumor and surgically removed a small mass. I don't remember him actually telling me that it was indeed a glomus tumor. Can they actually definitively determine that through pathology? I have no idea. I was pretty much pain-free for a few months, but then my pain came back full force. The hand surgeon--and I--both considered the surgery a failure and we all abandoned the glomus-tumor theory of diagnosis. BIG MISTAKE!

In 2002, I started having dull, aching pain in my left shoulder/neck/chest/arm, and (long story short) I was ultimately diagnosed as having thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). The vascular surgeons suspected that my finger pain was a result of the TOS. But 2+2 was never adding up to 4 for me, and I never felt like a "typical" TOS patient, and I therefore kept resisting the TOS surgery they were recommending. I just wasn't convinced enough that it would help my finger pain. I kept telling my vascular surgeon, "I can live with the shoulder/neck/chest/arm pain if I have to. It's the intermittent stabbing pain in my little finger that I need to get rid of." No one (including me--patient, heal thyself!) ever circled back to that old suspected glomus tumor... Again, BIG MISTAKE!

(To be continued...)

Deb said...

(Part 2) In February 2010 (last month), my current (and wonderful) vascular surgeon noticed that the fingernail on my left little finger was dark blue. I said, "Yeah, that spot has been getting larger and darker lately." (I think I justified this discoloration by thinking it was scar tissue or some other remnant of the 2001 glomus-tumor surgery. What was I thinking, blowing off such an obvious symptom?!? Another BIG MISTAKE!) He said, "I think you have TOS *AND* a glomus tumor. They may, or may not, be working together to create this bizarre pattern of separate, yet possibly related, symptoms." He referred me to a new hand surgeon. The minute that I got home from that appointment, I Googled "glomus tumor" for the first time since 2001, and WOW! It turns out that I have the full collection of symptoms--a classic case, really--and the nail discoloration. Bingo! I can't believe I wasted 9 years going down rabbit holes when this obvious diagnosis was right there in front of me. Soooooo frustrating. But it's spilled milk now, and I'm grateful to have a potential diagnosis at all.

So, fast-forward to my current status: The hand surgeon quickly diagnosed (or strongly suspects) a glomus tumor, and I'm having surgery on April 7. I told him to be as aggressive as he needs to be in getting it all out, especially because it looks like the other surgery resulted in an incomplete excision. I don't even care about my fingernail that much at this point, although it would be nice to wear nail polish again. (I haven't worn nail polish in years because the nail polish and polish remover are too cold, and the pressure of removing polish is too much.) I'm totally hopeful and optimistic, even though the past 11 years haven't given me much reason to feel that way.

I will check in again after my surgery to let you know how it went. Sorry about the long, two-part comment. I'm just so excited to be among people who understand. I truly, honestly, sincerely believed that I was completely and agonizingly alone, and I could just cry from the sweet relief of finding this post and all of your comments. Thank you, all!

Cat said...

After reading these comments, I think I have a GT in my left middle finger. There is a small spot near the nail bed where there is sharp pain when pressure is applied or it is cold out. The pain sometimes gets so bad I have an achy pain radiate up my arm to my elbow.

The only thing is, there is nothing visible on my finger so my doctor has NO IDEA what to do!

I'm pretty sure it's a GT, and I'm thankful I found this website.

Anonymous said...

I also have that pain that radiates up my arm to my elbow! I have been to my GP and I'm going for an x-ray this pm. My GP mentioned exotosis, but said that if the x-ray didn't show anything she'll refer me to a hand specialist! Hurrah! I have to take the GP route because I live in the UK. Updates later....

Ron said...

Cat,If you have the opportunity to go to a hand specialist rather than a GP you should just find one or just ask for a referral if you need one. They will be able to help you better than a GP who "has NO IDEA what to do!"
Anyway, I had my surgery yesterday and it was the most painful thing I've been through, including kidney stones, broken bones, even cutting the tip of my finger off(which grew back!?!) I've been through a lot and this took the cake. Taking painkillers was like putting a band aid on a shotgun wound. Apparently, having lived with my GT for twenty plus years,too scared it was deadly or embarrassed that it was nothing, it turned out to be rather large.
Well, that was yesterday. Today, with the help of painkillers, this isn't much more painful than a bad hangnail, except I don't have that one spot of horrible pain where the tumor was!
I asked the Dr. how the surgery went and what she found. She said they dug pretty deep and found a mass surrounded by a gel like substance. She obviously can't tell me what it is until the pathology is complete, but I know, through researching incessantly, that GT's often are surrounded by a gel like substance. She also said they had to graft skin from one healthy area of my nailbed onto the area of the excision. It's unbelievable how they do all this in 20 minutes.

Anonymous said...

Ron, glad your op went well. My heart jumped wildly when you said it was the most painful thing you'd experienced. Hope the recovery continues well and you become pain free.

I had an x-ray of my hands and afterwards they called me back in for a further x-ray of my index finger but side-on. I'm wondering what they saw. Now to wait for the results.

PS Thanks, Dr Bates for this opportunity to communicate with fellow sufferers.

Ron said...

Hi Anon, I think the circumstances vary from person to person as far as the pain from surgery. In my case, the tumor was fairly large, over 2 millimeters. It was also partially under the cuticle, where the finger nail germinates. On top of that and because of those factors, the surgeon had to graft healthy skin from the nail bed on to the area that was excised. So I think my experience may have been on the higher end of the pain spectrum. I've read other posts that said it wasn't as bad.
When I got home from the hospital, and when the nerve block wore off, I took some painkillers, the problem was I think the anesthesia made me nauseous and I couldn't keep them down. That, too, made it hard to control the pain. Again, individual circumstances play a big role in the post-op experience.
The day after surgery(yesterday), with the help of painkillers, I was actually comfortable, only experiencing relatively mild discomfort. Today, as I write this, it's rather painful, as I have yet to take a painkiller. I'd like to spend an hour or two not being high!

Laura said...

So glad to hear there are others out there that know what type of pain this thing causes.
I've had a gt removed from my left thumb twice. The first surgery was really tough. When the pain came back a year later, I went to a different surgeon. He said the first surgeon probably didn't get the root of the gt. The second surgery went well. The surgeon said he got the entire gt, root and all.
Now, a year later, the pain is back again. I just can't believe it. How come they cannot get the entire thing out? I just can't stand to go through another surgery and deal with the recovery process. I used board certified orthopedic hand surgeons both times.
Does anyone know if radiation is a better treatment?
Any advice on how to deal with the pain?
You can also email me!

lg1@yahoo.com

Laura said...

Correction, my email is lg1@sbcglobal.net.
Can anyone please tell me if there is anything besides heat that helps with the pain? I've had 2 gt's removed from the left thumb and now the pain is back again. It seems it is much worse than before.
I am so thankful to hear there are other people that understand what we are going through.

Laura

Libby said...

Yes, a good sharing... After ten years and being told and treated endlessly for big toe nail fungus , my derm did a biopsy last Sept which indicated likely GT. Rest of it was excised in Oct. Nail has grown back, but top half still not attached to the bed-- that is, it looks the same. I did not have pain. I hope they got the right diagnosis. Now, it feels a little different, and my joint slightly aches at times, like early arthritis or something. Maybe it's all GT related ???

Deb said...

So, I had my glomus-tumor surgery on April 7, and it went well. I haven't had any GT-related symptoms since the surgery, so hooray! The surgery itself was a piece of cake; it was relatively easy and painless.

Unfortunately, I am still experiencing my thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) symptoms. I'm a little disappointed because I was hoping that the GT was causing more of the pain than it turned out to have caused. What are the chances that I would have two completely separated, but intimately intertwined, conditions that both cause horrible pain in the ulnar nerve? I guess I hit the ulnar-nerve-pain lottery. Great. I'm a little disheartened, but I'm going to have to soldier on and explore the possibility of TOS surgery.

But I wanted to let you all know that the GT surgery (my second one in 10 years) was very easy and mostly pain-free. Don't be afraid to have your GTs removed. The pain from the surgery isn't ANYTHING compared to the pain caused by the GT. Don't suffer any longer than you need to.

Keeping my (good) fingers crossed that I don't need to have a third GT surgery.

Good luck to all of you!

Anonymous said...

My GP couldn't see anything on the x-ray other than some thinning of the bone in the joint of that finger. I think this may be due to lack of use. I always avoid using the finger if possible. She is now going to send me to a hand surgeon. I really hope they have heard of GTs and can diagnose and treat me.

Deb, did you have a local anaesthetic? It was great to hear that your op wasn't too bad.

Deb said...

Anonymous, I did have a local. It was a Bier Block. It was painless, straightforward, and easy. I had a bit of sedation too, but I was pretty alert during the surgery. I was very relaxed, but alert. I talked with the surgeon a bit during the procedure. I remember asking him if he'd be willing to show me the tumor after he removed it, and he did, and I remember being disappointed that I couldn't get a better look at it. (The lights were very bright, so it just looked like a dark blob in the tweezers.)

By the way, the pathology report confirmed that it was a benign glomus tumor--yay!

Also, Anonymous, my X-rays also showed a thinned-out "crater" in the tip of my little-finger bone, where the GT had carved out a little home for itself. My surgeon told me that this is relatively common with GTs--a thinned-out spot in the bone adjacent to the tumor. I'm glad to hear that you're going to see a hand specialist. It sounds like you're on the road to resolution, and I hope you'll be pain-free soon.

Honestly, the worst part of the surgery/recovery was not being able to use that finger or get it wet. However, I was surprised that I'm able to wash my hair relatively effectively with one hand! It's amazing how we can adapt and innovate when we have no choice. Oh--and Glad Press & Seal wrap was a life saver in keeping my hand dry when the post-surgical dressing was still on it.

Hope all of this helps. Please don't live with a GT any longer than you have to. I've had this surgery twice now, and it's honestly a walk in the park compared to living with a GT. I hope my GT doesn't come back a third time. But, if it does, I won't be nervous or hesitant AT ALL about having the surgery again.

Nanci said...

Glad I found this blog. For me it's been 15+ years of my right index finger. It never really interfered too much except when I would hit it "wrong" or in cold water. Because I swim in the ocean I've had to check to water temp. I finally decided to do something and first stop was my dermatologist who sent me directly to a plastic surgeon. I got my finger x-ray'd yesterday and will have the nail taken off next Friday. After reading all the comments I am so ready to have this done! I'm not too worried about post-op - I'll have local and the Dr. is a great surgeon. As for living with the post-op pain, I figure I've gutted it out for so long that a few more weeks won't be so bad. I will take any more encouragement that anyone of you wants to share. I'll post after the surgery for all to see.

Jen said...

It's been about 4 years now since I first started having pain in my right thumb. The pain can be excruciating, sometimes even when I'm not using it. And if it gets bumped, well, that's the end of the world for me as I know it! I asked about it a few times to various dr's, none of them having a clue. I finally got fed up and decided to find answers on my own. Thank God for the internet, because I now know what I am almost 100% sure I have, a Glomus Tumor. Unfortunately I don't have health insurance right now and can't afford to get it removed. But I tell you, I've never been so anxious to have a body part operated on! I must say, though, I'm not too thrilled to have read that so many of you have had their GT's grow back. Good luck to all of us GT sufferers!

Nanci said...

Victory! As the Plastic surgeon took off my fingernail out came with his tweezers a clear, round "ball" with a long "tail" attached. A neuroma? No - per pathology - a glomus tumor!! Post surgery has been painful but knowing the tumor is gone makes the pain OK. Folks, don't wait like I did - I am looking forward to plunging my index finger into icy cold water as soon as the Dr. says I can. Surgery was straightforward and despite my finger being still numb I was able to drive home that evening. Thank you all for your insights and giving me the courage to make this happen. : )

Anonymous said...

Hi

i am having an op to remove a suspected GT in my little finger and was wondering if anyone could tell me how long (if any) I would need to usually take off work?
thanks

Anonymous said...

I've now been to see a hand surgeon. He suspected a glomus tumour straight away (I was impressed). When we looked at my x-rays there was a hole right through the bone in the end of my finger! The radiologist's report had only mentioned a little thinning of the bone!

I now have to have an MRI scan and then an operation. He says it would be better for me to have a local anaesthetic. I am now on the 18 week waiting list! Woo-hoo!

Thanks for sharing everyone, and good luck. Don't forget to keep posting back here.

Anonymous said...

i 1st was diagnosed as having a glomus tumour 23 yrs ago I had it removed under general twice and it returned both times I went back to my surgeon who decided I needed decentisation treatment where I had to repeatedly hit the end of my finger and tell my self it didnt hurt! as you may guess it didnt work,disillusioned I didnt go back until May of this year I have now just had it removed for the 3rd time 4 days ago fingers crossed

Shed said...

I had a glomus tumour removed from my left middle finger under the nail on Thurs just gone. Recovery is ok, its just swollen now and the dressing is stuck to where the nail is. The prof said he took the nail off, removed the tumour which he said was big and stitched nail back as a splint.

I've had this painful bugger for over 20 years as GPs just don't have any idea of what they are! They just thought it was a problem with the nerves or something. I actually thought the same and just lived with it until I slightly banged it again recently and that familier pain we all know had me curled up on the floor crying with agony and I thought 'somethings gotta be done...lets google the symptoms' and I found this forum!!! It has changed my life to actually have a name for what I had and something could be done to cure it!

Lets hope it doesn't come back. The prof said he 'thinks' he got it all. Crossing my glomus free fingies!!

Thankyou so much RL Bates for starting this blog.

lafemmeharley said...

ok, so finally after 5 years of this ridiculous pain in the tip of my pinky, someones figured it out. Glomus Tumor. Reading this shows Im not crazy, I too asked my ortho to just hack my finger off, cold sends me thru the roof, and God forbid you bang your finger into something. When it acts up at work, I have to drop whatever Im doing and curse uncontrollably while I apply pressure to the fingertip, customers just love this. So, Im not alone. I'll be happy to get the damn thing out of there, scary thing is, sometimes same pain is in my ring finger as well, and also in the palm of the same hand. Hummmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

Had surgery 12 days ago in Port Moody BC from a fantastic surgeon. Pain right after surgery was nothing compared to the tumour! Had it removed from my thumb - but last couple days pain has gotten worse and transformed into the shooting bolts further down my thumb and into my hand. This is worse than the pain right after surgery - i did bang it once pretty good this weekend and it has gotten red and a little swollen. Is it infected possibly? you guys are great - thx for all the helpful posts!

rlbates said...

Anon (July 26), it is likely this new increase in pain just 12 days postop may be due to infection. It needs to be checked by your surgeon. Take care.

Anonymous said...

For over twenty years, I've suffer from several glomus tumors in my lower left leg. After visiting 11 doctors, finally I was diagnosted with Glomus tumors. I had six of them removed and I just discover at least three more points of pain pretty much in the same area.
Does anybody have reocurrent glomus tumors? Is it there any medicine to take to aleviate the excruciating pain?
I'm trying to live a normal life, but is hard fearing all the time that something or someone could involuntary touch the pain spots I have and I'd be passing out due to the pain.
It seems that not a lot of people get these tumors in legs.

Shawna said...

I am SO relieved to know that I am not the only person suffering from this. I actually teared up reading some of the entries because it's nice to know I'm not the only one!I have yet to meet anyone else who has had the same issue as me. For the past several years, 5 at least, I have dealt with increasing paing in my left middle finger, on the left side of the nail. I finally decided to go to my GP last year to get a referral and figure out what is going on. He did an x-ray and referred me to an orthopedist. At the initial consultation, the orthopedist said he thought what I was suffering from was a GT. He ordered an MRI and set up an appointment for me to come back 2 weeks later to get the results. To my dismay, he said the MRI didn't show anything and there was nothing he could do. His recommendation was that I "just deal with it". I too have had thoughts about cutting off my finger because the pain is SO BAD! Any slight pump sends waves of pain through my body. People look at me like I'm crazy if I hit my finger in public and I'm fairly positive my boyfriend either thinks I'm weak or just making it up. It is so frustrating. Can anyone give me recommendations for where to go to get a propert diagnosis? I don't have a bump on my finger, but it is very slightly discolored. I don't want to go the the expense of more visits, MRIs or tests if the result will be the same as before. Please help, I can't live with this forever!

rlbates said...

Shawna, get a second opinion with a hand surgeon (either plastic or ortho, but who specializes in hands).

Anonymous said...

Shawna - I had the same acute pain under my little finger nail for over a decade. There was no visible sign of a problem and neither X-ray or MRI scan showed anything unusual. In spite of this, the orthopedic surgeon offered to operate - and sure enough he found a small GT. The 15 minute op was in Jan 2010 and my nail has almost fully grown back - and no more pain! I'm pretty sure you have a GT. Ask the surgeon to operate, even if they can't see anything on the scans. Don't live with the pain any longer than you have to. Kind regards, Keith

Shawna said...

Thanks everyone. I now have an appointment with a plastic surgeon in a few weeks. I hope he can tell me something more than "just deal with it"! I don't think I've ever WANTED surgery this much in my life. Anything to be rid of this awful and annoying pain.

Anonymous said...

My MRI scan has shown a 5mm tumour, probably glomus, on the distal phalanx of my index finger. I am now waiting for the appointment to have it removed under local anaesthetic as a day case. Wish me luck!

rlbates said...

Anon (8-7-2010), best to you.

Anonymous said...

Shawna - I had the same problem with my little finger and when I saw the consultant she couldnt see anything on my nail and said she would have to do investigative surgery as an xray probably wouldnt show anything. She said my symptoms (which sound the same as yours) sounded like it was a glomus tumor which is why she recommended surgery. I had the op on Friday and just before she said she could feel a very small bump on the side of the nail. I had surgery and she found it and removed it. Its painful now but not as bad as I had expected and im hoping once it heals it will be sorted. I sympathise with you as I dont think people do understand how painful it is. Hope you get it sorted out

Anonymous said...

I had a GT removed from my little finger 12 days ago. I had local and the surgery was fine - I was surprised as to how well it went. I had trouble moving it for a few days afterwards, but this got easier. My rpoblem is that I can now move my hand around easily, but I am getting very bad stabbing and shooring type pains in my finger which are worse than after the surgery. I had my dressing changed by the nurse yesterday and she said it looks to be healing well, but have had another dressing put on as there is a blood clot on the nail bed so its not entirely healed. I see that some people are saying they are still in pain after the surgery and I was wondering if this stabbing, shooting pain in my finger is normal. Im hoping it will ease eventually and wonder if its just because I am now using my hand more.
thank you

Shawna said...

Thanks Anonymous (8/23)! I saw a hand surgeon earlier this week and he agreed to do surgery to find out what is going on. He said he thought it could either be a Glomus Tumor or a Neuroma. Thankfully he didn't order any other expensive diagnostics. I just hope he can fix it. Now I'm waiting for the pre-authorization to be sorted out with the insurance company. Now that I know I will be having the surgery I'm excited, but also kind of nervous. For those of you who have been through it, how well could you perform day-to-day tasks after surgery? How long before returning to work? I haven't gone over these questions yet with my doctor, so just wondering. Any tips for keeping hand dry or other recovery tips? I'm really just concerned about daily tasks like showering, fixing my hair, cooking, dishes...

Suzanne said...

I had what I think was a glomus tumor of the right thumb. I never had the cold sensitivity, but a slight tap would reduce me to tears! This went on for about six years, and in this last year, the pain became almost constant, and my first joint starting hurting. I was sure that the MRI would show elves with pickaxes in my thumb! I finally had the surgery a little under two weeks ago, and it went well. They just put a tourniquet around my forearm, and used lidocaine on my hand. No pain at all! BUT....my knuckle has started to hurt again, and I'm getting those familiar stabbing pains under what used to be my thumbnail...I'm having my stitches removed tomorrow, and will ask the doctor what is going on. I thought one of the hallmarks of the glomus tumor was that its excision resulted in an immediate cessation of pain. Maybe this was something else...?

Anonymous said...

Hi Shawna
I found things not too bad after surgery - I had it on the Friday and was back at work on Wednesday. I could have been back sooner, but I couldnt drive as the bandage was so big it got in the way!! Keeping it dry wasnt difficult, I just put a bag over my hand when washing my hair, and basically did it with one hand! Otherwise, I just got used to doing things one handed for a while. I would say by the Thursday it was alot more mobile although I didnt drive until I had a smaller bandage put on. Hope this helps

Anonymous said...

Typing this one-handed after having surgery to remove my suspected subungual GT!

I had a general anaesthetic and they also deadened my finger with local before bandaging, to help with the recovery. Everything's better than I anticipated. Though there is a little pain, it's nothing compared to the original tumour pain. I have the bandages off in 9 days' time and will get the pathology results also.

Don't be afraid to have surgery, that's what I urge others who are suffering.

Anonymous said...

I was finally diagnosed with a Glomus tumor yesterday! Im having a hard time finding post-op pics and I would really like to know what to expect. Mine is tiny and my finger shows no deformity from it at all at this point. The Dr. said he can go in from the side of my finger, has anybody else had the same thing done? If so any info or pics would be greatly appreciated!

Clarey said...

Hi, thanks for this Blog and all the comments from contributors. Very useful to know! I'm adding my ten cents' worth though because I want people to know THEY DO OCCUR IN PLACES OTHER THAN THE FINGER! I have yet to find a case on the Net of one appearing where I have mine but I too have recently been diagnosed with a GT. Mine is on my arm, on the fat 'pad' of my upper arm, about halfway down. Pretty much unheard of in that location apparently but my GP, suspecting a neuroma, referred me to a neurologist who, the moment he saw it and heard my explanation of the intense pain, sensitivity to touch and cold, diagnosed it immediately. I am scheduled to have it removed in November and expect it will be fine. Good luck to anyone else suffering a GT - these babies are unimaginably painful!!

megan said...

hi everyone
ive now had two ops on the thumb with the tumor in it cos it came bak. the lats op was at the start of the year and i thinnk its bak again. its not as severe so i think im gonna wait. i dont have any discouloration yet but im sure its bak so i think ill wait a cople moths to seee what happens

megan

Anonymous said...

Hello

Am so glad to find this forum - I have been suffering with pain in the third finger of my left hand for 10+ years. Always assumed it was a trapped nerve !

No one has ever believed me that I can be in so much pain when I accidentally knock the finger and am in agony for like 30-40 seconds - and I mean agony ! Never wanted to go to doc either to say - "hello my finger nail hurts...." but now with this info I will make an appointment and go asap.

However I don't get pain when its cold eg either in water or frosty conditions outside ? Is this ever the case does anyone know ?

thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon (0ct 17)

Some medical reports I've read, report that not every glomus tumour shows a response to cold conditions. I know mine did though. Now that I've had mine removed, I can go out on frosty mornings without sheepskin mittens. Just bare handed! It is such a relief.

I would urge you to get your finger assessed sooner rather than later. Why suffer when you could be cured? I had mine for 20 years and it grew to be 5mm and agonisingly painful, it even wore a hole right through the bone at the end of my finger. Don't leave it as long as I did.

megan said...

hi
my thumb is still sore but no discouloration yet has anyone elses tuumor come bak with the pain but the not discouloration i ddont know if i should have it checked out again or not
thankx to anyone that answers me

Shawna said...

I have surgery on 11/18, so I am counting down the days. Just wanted to send an update and a note of thanks for this forum. It has helped me a lot with moving forward with treatment and hopefully with me being pain free by the end of the year! :)

Clarey - the surgeon who will be removing my GT/neuroma actually showed me a scar on his arm from where he had a GT removed.

Leona said...

I had a glomus tumer removed twice so far. Seems every two years. It took them 7 years to even know what it was. I am glad to hear everyone say it hurt. I thought I was just being a baby. Well, I have to go back to see the Dr. again. I do think it is growning back. I am so upset! Dont want to go through this again. Thanks for listening to me vent...lol I just know you all understand.

Derek said...

Like Clarey I also have it on my arm. It's on the outer part, at the top of my bicep. I had it removed about a year ago. Well it's back and the pain is even worse then before. Going to another doctor next month. Hopefully when they remove it, it stays gone. I hope this helps others who may not have this on their fingers. From what I've been told, although very rare, it can pop up anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Suffered for years with pain at base of nail on middle finger.Was told "it's nothing" so many times by doctors I stopped asking and just suffered every time I hit it (pain a 10 out of 10) or during the winter when it ached.Finally saw a hand surgeon who immediately assumed it was glomus. Had an MRI two years ago and it showed nothing so I just assumed it was some nerve damage and I would have to live with it. Developed a TRIGGER finger on the same finger a few months ago and went back to the same doctor. I reminded her of the nail bed pain and she still insisted it was a glomus. The hospital had a new MRI machine (don't know which but I can find out if you want) and she wanted it re-imaged. YES, this time it showed! Had surgery with propofol for both and was up and about the next hour. She reattached the nail but now a month later it is lifting off. I didn't ask if was suppose to stay... have follow up this week so I guess I'll find out.I am pain free and thrilled to finally have had a diagnosis and surgery.

Anonymous said...

I had a glomus tumor removed from under my little finger nail about 8 months ago. The nail has fully grown back, but I am now experiencing shooting pains in that finger which go from half way up my finger to under the nail. I dont get the excrutiating pain when I hit my finger, but im wondering if its the start of a glomus again, or if it could be something different? Any advice would be appreciated. thank you

rlbates said...

Anon (Feb 12, 2011), it could be a return of the glomus tumor or not. Return to your surgeon if the pain continues or worsens for an exam.

Anonymous said...

OMG I thought I was the only one in this world that suffer from this horrible pain , I just had surgery last friday on my left thumb after almost 3 years of terrible pain and horrible winters now its all wraped up , go wed to get the dressing we will see how bad it looks.

Anonymous said...

It has been almost two weeks since i had a gt removed from under my fingernail. my finger is still very sore and i have pain that will randomly shoot down my finger to my hand. could i have a damaged nerve or something?

rlbates said...

Anon (March 8, 11), you need to see your surgeon to make sure nothing is wrong (ie no infection, etc).

Anonymous said...

Hello everybody!

I definitely have a GT under the right hand finger nail for about 15 years and I hoped I can tolerate it all life long avoiding a surgery. However, due to the last new “particular “ symptom I decided to make the step ahead and I’m going to complete this action in July by making a surgery.
Meanwhile, I have read very carefully and patiently all the previous posts but I haven’t seen a “particular” symptom related to that (along with cold sensitivity or pain caused by the pressure). That’s why I’m asking everybody, especially Dr. Bates, if anyone has faced with pain during a deep and fast breathing. It seems to be quite strange, but it happens just like that, when I’m trying to breath (either inhale or exhale) faster and deeply, I use to feel the pain in my finger. I felt that for the first time about 2 month ago. Coincidence or not, I have started going to gym by that time and I started lifting weights and forcing my hands. The tumor hasn’t changed its appearance but I’m worried due to the additional pain, not being transformed in something more serious or worse.

Thank you a lot!

rlbates said...

Anon (May 6, 2011), I have never heard of your particular symptom with the breathing assoc with the pain. If the pain has changed, I would encourage you to see your physician/surgeon.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the answer. I’ve already spoken with the dermatologist but I’m still confused because he said that is a normal symptom as far as the glomus tissue is packed with nerves and blood vessels and he also said that is connected with the blood pressure. I’m trying to understand but I cannot see the connection with breathing. Could be a connection between the breathing and blood pressure? That could be related with the recent gym activities? I have already stopped going to gym. I kindly ask you to tell me your opinion.
I haven’t spoken with the surgeon about this new pain but I scheduled with him the surgery for July. I’m concerned about this pain associated with breathing and I’m anxious and worried till July.

rlbates said...

Anon (May 6, 2011) -- simply breathing without a change in blood pressure shouldn't affect pain in your hand. Inhaling/exhaling as in meditation should lower your blood pressure and in theory decrease the pain.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I’m so insistent but I’m returning with a completion: the pain doesn’t occur during a normal breathing but only during a deep and fast breathing. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Never accept a "just live with it" or "deal with it" answer from doctors or others for that matter. No one should have to live with excruciating pain.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon

Just wanted to let you know that before I had my glomus tumour removed, I definitely had terrible pains in it when there was extra adrenalin in my body. For example if I became stressed in any way, the pain would be excruciating.

Therefore, I suppose it is possible that whilst you work out at the gym, your adrenal glands are more active, and that this could be causing pain in the tumour.

Good luck with your surgery.

roger said...

hi doc i was wondering if you got my post. its winter here and this is the forth winter with gt. im not looking forward to it staying in bed with a heat pack and sme paracode tring to reduce the pain. the docs here in nz dont know much about gts and im looking at getting another mri. apparently there are two types t1 and t2. the latter shows whats in the tissue more than t1. i recently went to the surgeon who took out the first gt and this is what he came up with. i had a mri in 2009 and thay said there is a possibilty of a small tumor but possibilty rulls out probable or actual so this is why ive been struggling to get it removed. thay talk about scar tissue but this is the same syptoms as the first and the same with gt syptoms. hopefully the next mri will show for sure there is something there. i know there is. ive forgotten what its like to be pain free. thank god and rl bates and all you good people out there who are strong in this battle.

Anonymous said...

Hello!

I’m the guy who had those strange symptoms in terms of pain in the finger during the breathing. My review was on 6 of May. I had the surgery 3 weeks ago and I’m very disappointed. My GT was less than 3 mm, the nail hasn’t been removed entirely (the surgeon cut out a corner from the nail, about 20 % of the nail), the finger looks good BUT I’m afraid the surgery was just a breeze. The surgeon made a small reconstruction taking a piece of skin and tissue from the finger tip and put it inside the bed nail by filling the “hole” caused by the excision.
First of all, the biopsy confirmed that is a GT but also confirmed it is a FRAGMENT!
So the surgeon hasn’t cut out everything. In this case I’m waiting unfortunately for a recurrence needed a new surgery. After 3 weeks I feel the same kind of pain (but worse). After the first week I thought it’s something normal due to the surgical intervention but after I found out it is a fragment, it is clear why the pain is still vivid even though is not coming quite often. The only good thing is that the pain when breathing went away.
I have many questions in my mind for Dr. Bates and for other unlucky people having this problem. For instance, I read here many cases of recurrences but nobody said something about the biopsy results. So, my question is if the GT can recurrence even the biopsy said the GT is 100% cut out, I mean the excised piece is entirely out. I’m asking everybody with cases of recurrence what biopsy said in their case.
Other question is regarding the nail bed reconstruction. If the GT is cut out what’s happening with the bed nail, isn’t required any reconstruction?

Thank you!

rlbates said...

Anon (Aug 8, 2011), if the path report states the GT has been removed 100% there should be no recurrence. If the nail bed is only incised to remove the GT, then simply repairing the "cut" is all that is needed. If the nail bed is partially excised to remove the GT, then more may need to be done to repair/reconstruct the nail bed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much! So, if the path report states the removed GT is actually a fragment, I have to expect a recurrence sooner or later. Actually, the first sign of recurrence is the current pain I guess, which is still active right now after 3 weeks. I suppose that if the report said it is a fragment, there are 100% chances for recurrence in my case.

The surgeon said he cut out what visible was, and from his point of view he did the right thing. However, the report says something different.

I kindly ask you to advise me what should I do, either to wait for a while to see what’s going on or to make the second surgery quickly and to cut out everything for safety.

rlbates said...

Anon, he did do the right thing. At this time there's no such thing as MOH's surgery for glomus tumors. Pathologist don't do frozen sections of the margins to be sure we got it all at the time of surgery.

Anonymous said...

For my better understanding, should I wait for a while to see what’s going on and making a conclusion later on? What do you advise me? To be honest, I don’t mind to keep a piece/rest of GT if it doesn’t hurt anymore and if it doesn’t make me serious problems any longer.

However, I’m just wondering and I’m a little bit worried about those cases and posts written here on your blog about finger amputations and so on. I have now in my mind that case from South Africa if I remember with several amputations. Why did they need to find this desperate solution? Could affect these GT also the bones causing more serious problems?

rlbates said...

Anon, you need to have this discussion with your surgeon. I don't give individual advice on this blog.

Best to you.

Anonymous said...

hello,
I have had what I think is a glomus tumor for about 7 years. I went to a finger doctor to said that's what I had but wanted me to confirm with an mri before surgery. I finally had the mri the other day and they saw no glomus tumor. Is it just so small that they can't see it? what else could act just like a glomus tumor? (I haven't been back to the finger doctor. I had to have an mri for my knee so the ortho guy gave me a prescription for mri for my finger at the same time.)

thanks!

rlbates said...

Anon (8-14-11), you need to ask your hand surgeon those questions. It may be that the GT is too small, but .... History and exam (too me) are just as important.

Amber said...

I was so thankful to read all of this information! I have experienced pain in my left middle finger under the nail near the cuticle for about 10 years now. At first it was just extremely sensitive to touch. Then it became sensitive to the cold and at times would just hurt on its own. The pain was so intense and I don't think others realised how serious I was. So it was a relief to know I was not alone after reading all your comments. I had asked doctors over the years but they just scratched their heads. Then I saw this site! My symptoms were perfectly matched to GT. I got a referral from my doctor to see a hands/plastic surgeon. He organised for me to have an MRI which confirmed GT. I had surgery on Monday and he removed it. It's pretty sore at the moment but I hope its all worth it because the GT was becoming unbearable to live with especially with the colder weather. I was ready to chop my finger off!! Thank you Dr Bates for this site as it has definitely helped to make life more comfortable for me. I just have to wait for my finger to heal, the nail to grow back and my pathology results. Thanks again!

Rod said...

I had a glomus tumor under my right thumbnail for 21 years. Doctors thought it was arthritis so I lived with it as best I could. I found this website two months ago and made an appointment with a hand surgeon. They did an MRI but it didn't show a thing. We had the surgery anyway and sure enough it was the size of a pinhead! Recovery isn't easy but it's been a month and I am free from pain. If it returns I'll get it removed without hesitation.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all, I was just diagnosed with glomus tumor and schedule for surgery next week. I was releved to know what is causing this pain and that it will finally go away; however, after reading your posts and realizing the chances for the tumor to grow back, think i will NOT go for surgery. I will just deal with the pain until it is not more bearable.
thank you all.

Anonymous said...

My advice is to have the surgery. Why put up with the pain? It won't go away until you get it cut out. My procedure lasted about 10 mins under a local anaesthetic, and apart from the dressing sticking to the exposed finger nail bed, recovery was a breeze. That was 2 years ago and, after 10 years intense pain, I never think about it these days.

Anonymous said...

Well, I just had my surgery 5 days ago. They removed a small sob GT from my right ring finger. They gave me lydocaine shots, local of course in the finger and the surgery did not hurt at all. You could feel the injection of the lydocaine, but that was it.
For two days after surgery, it hurt a bit but was more like a wound pain.
Now my only worry is that I had a couple of shooting pain under my nail, similar to that of GT pain. I hope the doc removed all of it and what hurts is only the stitches under my nail.

beckyc said...

i have just had a follow up appointment today and discovered that the thing they removed from my big toe was a glomus tumour! i dropped a bottle on my toe 11 years ago, the nail started to split down the middle and i began to get burning pain and it was hypersensitive to touch. i went to see my gp who said my nail bed was damaged and would need to be removed. i had this done and it took months to heal and it was even more painful. i suffered for a few more years and decided to try to tackle it again. i was told i had a neuroma and that there was no cure. i began taking 6 gabapentin a day to alleviate the pain and a variety of over the counter pain killers and sometimes codeine if the pain was so bad i couldnt sleep. I even went to see an orthopedic surgeon in france!! eventually i became so depressed and fraught with the pain i broke down in front of my gp and she referred me to a different PCT. the consultant surgeon was still not entirely sure what it was but agreed to excise it and hope for the best. the pain has gone.

throughout these years i always felt that the professionals i saw thought i was being over dramatic. dont get me wrong i couldnt be happier to have got rid of the pain but it took 11 years for someone to help me. i had a few x-rays but never had an ultrasound which would have dianosed it i am sure.

i couldnt do normal things like play with my children, swimming, wear nice shoes, sleep etc etc and i was in constant fear of something touching it. even the droplets of water in the shower were excrutiating. it felt like tooth ache type pain shooting up my foot and my leg into my spine, a burning sensation all over my foot and then when something minor touched it like a sledgehammer being smashed onto it and i could hardly breath it was so painful. my children would get scared when this happened as i would go into the fetal postion on the floor and rock for about 2-3 minutes. it was involuntary.

i am so relieved to know that i am not alone - although i dont wish this nightmare on anyone. i am preparing myself for the bastard to grow back but next time at least i know what i am dealing with and that there is something that can be done. the amount of times i thought about downing a bottle of gin and cutting my toe off with a sharp knife is silly.

i had a tornique and a general anaesthetic. it took about a week to heal and i havent taken any pain killers etc since. i had a lot of local in my toe itself and it was numb for a good 24 hours after.

i cant seem to stop crying - out of happiness that the pain has stopped and out of anger that i lived with it for so long.

Anonymous said...

I've had this horrible pain and tenderness in my right pinky finger for about 10 years now. Tried doctors, pain killers, arhtritis meds, you name it, I tried it. I've seriously even thought about cutting off my own finger to stop the pain. I was just diagnosed with a glomus tumor. Finally a hand specialist that knew what was wrong. I had an mri this past Friday and see the doctor again this coming Tuesday. I want the surgery to remove this so badly right now. The least little touch and I am in excruciating pain and the pain that comes and goes, it's like a hot poker being jabbed in my finger, comes out of nowhere.

The cold makes it hurt so much worse and my finger nail hasn't grown properly in years. I am so glad to finally know what it is and know that it can be fixed. Thank you, thank you all for your comments. Reading this has helped me know that I'm not alone in this and that it will get better.

Kathy

Payal said...

Payal J-I have been dealing with GT for years and As everyone else I went to several Dr. Got X-rays and gels and medications to heal but nothing worked and out of frustration I too have thought of chopping off my finger atleast it would be pain free at the end of the day. Everyone in my life knows not to touch my right hand as i can scream from pain at any moment even with the slightest touch on my right ring finger. Finally, one day an orthopedic surgeon consulted with a hand surgeon and they think it's GT. I am going for my MRI next week and I am sadly very excited and hoping that this is it and can be cured and never comes back again. It feels good to read all the comments online as it makes you feel like there is someone else who understand the pain you are going through. Hoping all goes well with MRI and whatever come after that. Thanks.

Danica said...

I've had this pain in the ring finger on my left hand for as long as I can remember. I'm 28 now and after at least 20 years of this, I have pretty much gotten used to it.

Mild pressure applied to the top will make it throb, but I can type fine with it because pressure applied to the pad is not a problem, only if something touches the top. I laughed when I read the post about wearing nail polish because I know exactly what you mean - the cold of the polish doesn't bother me, but letting someone else remove the polish to get a manicure is a nightmare. They want to press on the nail so hard to scrub off the polish and I do my best not to scream while they're doing their job...

Most days, it's completely fine and I don't even think about it. Then something stupid will happen and I'll whack it on something and enter the mind-numbing excruciating pain; or the weather turns a little chilly and all of my fingers turn numb while outside except for that one, which starts throbbing and makes tears burn my eyes.

The other day I was cleaning a pasta pan and it slipped in the sink and landed on that finger. I thought amputating the finger would hurt less.

I always seem to manage to hit it on something, probably because I'm trying so hard not to. Maybe I just don't notice how much I hit my other digits on stuff because doing so doesn't cripple me.

I've found that when I hit it on something, the best thing to do besides swearing and crying is to run it under some cool water. For some reason that always helps soothe my finger and brings the shooting, I'd swear my mortal soul to any deity to make it stop, excruciating pain lessen to just a mild annoyance. Icing it makes it a different kind of pain. I've tried massaging it when it starts throbbing like that, but it doesn't seem to help nearly as much as the cool water.

Other than the pain, there is no noticeable signs that there is something different about this finger. It's the same color, it's not swollen, there are no bumps or anything. If I didn't smack it at least once a week on something, or I didn't work in a refrigerated warehouse, I'd never notice anything different about it.

I've always chalked it up to random nerve damage that probably happened when I was a baby or something.

I've never been to a doctor for it as I figured all they would do is prescribe pain meds and the pain doesn't usually last that long for the meds to kick in before it stops. I feel sorry for those of you that have the pain continuously and I feel incredibly lucky that it doesn't affect my day-to-day so badly.

I started Google searching the symptoms the other night... after that pasta pan incident and trying to explain to my roommate why I was blubbering like an infant while trying to convince myself that chopping my finger off in my kitchen would probably hurt more though I failed to see how it could ...in any case, it took a few days of googling to come across this blog post. In this post though, I have found my support group. I've laughed and I've cringed in empathy as people have described the pain that they have gone through. No one in my life understands it and I thought it was one of those things that I was over exaggerating on, or worse, that it was all in my head.

I don't have the world's best insurance, or job, right now, so I'm not sure when I'll be able to get to a doctor to get the proper diagnosis, but I'm just thankful that there are others out there with such similar symptoms that I now have an idea of what's wrong with me...and I know that I'm not crazy about how badly this can hurt.

Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences and for letting me know that I'm not alone in this pain!

Anonymous said...

I had my MRI of my right ring finger this AM and there it was!!! Thank goodness my orthopedist had an idea of what it was...as you all know the pain is AWFUL and no one understands...and, it is getting worse...now all night long sometimes. Will be referred to a hand surgeon I suppose next week. I hope to get this resolved.

Elizabeth said...

Hi, What an intersting forum. I have suffered pain in my thigh for approximately 32 years. After suffering through an extremely painful biopsy on my leg last month, I have been diagnosed with a glomus tumour. I am so sick of this pain that I am going through with surgery as soon as possible. Because it took so long to diagnose me, my leg muscles have contracted and my knee doesn 't bend at all, and they think that it will not change after the surgery. But I am going to press through with physiotherapy, because I WANT MY LIFE BACK! Wish me luck. This is the worst pain in the world, right now my leg is in spasm, which means I can't walk or do anything. Luckily I have a drug that works to help it...sometimes. The day to day pain is barely relieved by pain meds, and god forbid ANYTHING touch that part of my leg. I sure hope mine doesn't grow back.

Elizabeth/Toronto/Canada

Anonymous said...

Fantastic site. It has really helped while recovering from surgery. I have never experienced pain like it. Still sore 2 weeks later. Not looking forward to the dressing coming off. Hope everybody's GT's don't grow back! Have people's nails grown back?

Anonymous said...

I am very happy to have found others going through the same experience as me. I was diagnosed with a Glomus Tumor and had surgery about 2 weeks ago. I have been suffering from it since i was 11 and now i am 37. I am recovering but I still feel the pinching feeling. The Doctor said he removed the entire GT and doesn't believe it will come back. I am very afraid that it could come back. The pain was excrusiating. I also thought in telling the doctor that the pain was going to continue to please cut the tip of my pinky. So let's see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Hello.
Had a glomus tumour removed from my finger 2.5 weeks ago. Was doing ok until stitches were removed. Now finger hurts again. But this isn't glomus tumour pain- its different. Wound stings, but can also feel throbbing a nd sometimes a sharp pain that can shoot up through the rest of my finger. Hoping this is just normalhibg pain and will go away soon... Has anyone experienced anything similar???
Ellen.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found this site... I have excruciating pain in my right middle finger everytime I lightly bump it the wrong way, or intense pain everytime my hands get cold. I have blown it off for the past few years, but the older I get- the worse this pain gets.
I have yet to consult a Dr. but am glad that I found this site to have an educated visit with the dr. hopefully I can have this diagnosed and resolved soon!!!!!

DC said...

I had my GT removed about 2 years ago, and it came back in about a year after the surgery. It is smaller and not as painful as the first one -yet, so I may end up living with it.
I am more concern about if there is any other connection between having GT and other diseases, and likelihood of having GT involving other organs (stomach, kidneys, etc) if you have it in your fingernails... Did anyone read/research about these?

Anonymous said...

The surgery is fairly simple, and local anesthesia is absolutely sufficient. General anesthesia is way too expensive (more bucks to the doctors, anesthetist ;) and so much harder on your body.
Definitely convince your doctor for local.

Anonymous said...

I canot express how much finding this blog has meant to me. Just knowing that there are others who understand what it means to have this condition, and seeing the success of some people here, and those who are still suffering gives me hope that things can get better for me.
I have a solitary glomus tumour under the left side of my nail in the nail bed, on my left ring finger, and have a job that requires manual handling in cold environments-seemingly one of the worst things i could have chosen to do. I was really lucky in that the first doctor i saw diagnosed me correctly, but I have had the tumour removed twice now, and have an appointment in april beacause it's once again grown back.
My surgeon has suggested a treatment which may or may not work, but i've never seen it suggested here, so i thought i'd share, adn i'll let everyone know whether it's successful or not.
If anyone if familiar wiht the process of treating ingrowing toenails, this is basically the same thing. The surgeon will excise the tumour as normal, but wil then apply the chemical phenol, which kills the nail-growing matrix, and can have a damaging effect on tissue. The surgeon is proposing to apply this chemical to the area where the tumour grows in the hopes that it damages the cells responsible for growing the tumour. We have no idea of how successful the treatment will be, and my nail will not re-grow, but i feel it's a valid option, maybe not for everyone, but i'm willing to try it.
I'll update you all on my progress as it happens.

Also to the anonny who posted on the 11th feb, i experinced the pain you decribed, and pu tit down to re-growth of nerve endings, but beware my tumour has re-grown twice.

Anonymous said...

As anyone got one growing on the top of their nail bed i av a lump at the base of my nail, my nail as a groove running down the length of it. The nail itself doesnt hurt but when i catch the lump the pain is unbearable please help x

noraisins said...

I literally cried when I read this post and all of the comments. To know that others have experienced the paint that I had been trying to describe to doctor after doctor was amazing. I thought I was fighting an unknown demon all alone. I had been calling it my "mystery fingertip pain" for over five years and had seen close to a dozen different doctors before finding this site (arthritis specialists, dermatologists, neurologists, general physicians, and even a hand surgeon). I immediately printed out all of this post and the comments and went straight to my doctor to request and MRI and then made an appointment with a hand surgeon. The MRI confirmed it and that little pest was out a week later. I still have one in the same finger on my other hand, but I am waiting until that one can be seen on an MRI before getting surgery. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!! Words cannot express how grateful I am!!!!

Anonymous said...

thank you all to your posts. I just had my second GT removed from my thumb and only 2 weeks after this second surgery, the pain has returned. I am beside myself as you can imagine. What happens? Does the surgeon just keep doing more and more removals? Grateful for your response.

Kiff said...

recent MRI has confirmed a GT in the middle finger outer nail bed this diagnosis has been many years in the making as many of you have also experienced. I have a new concern however I seem to be having shooting pains in the ring finger as well. The pain is similar but not caused by pressure or cold and it seems to start in the middle finger and radiate around the inner edge of both digits with the occasional radiation of pain into the palm of my hand as well. My question to others has this happened to you too and if so does anyone know the cause for this? Iam seeing the hand surgeon in 3 weeks to discuss surgery I can hardly wait I hope it is soon I live on a cold water lake and miss the swimming.

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