A subungual glomus tumour of the finger with five reappearances: a rare case report
Keywords:recurrence, glomus tumour, finger, surgery
Background: A subungual glomus tumour is a rare benign neoplasm that develops in the distal portion of the finger from the glomus body. Hand surgeons are most significant in the diagnosis of this tumour.
Case report: We present an atypical case of a patient who experienced multiple recurrences of a subungual glomus tumour of the finger over a period of 26 years. A transungual approach was used to remove the nail during the surgical excision. Postoperatively, the patient was symptom-free.
Discussion: The glomus body is the neuromyoarterial histological structure located in the stratum reticularis of the dermis of the skin and the subungual regions. Recurrences can be classified as early, delayed and ancient. Early recurrences may result from incomplete excision or a second tumour that develops within a year of the initial excision. A year following excision, delayed recurrences are thought to be caused by a new glomus tumour at the fingertip. A tumour that reappears more than three times after excision on the same fingertip in five years can be either a new or incomplete excised tumour, as in our case, and is considered an ancient recurrence. Surgical eye loupes should be use intraoperatively to improve complete tumour lesion excision.
Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of a finger with five recurrences post excision. In the event that excision-related pain is significant, recurrence should be considered. Delayed and ancient recurrences are thought to be caused by a new glomus tumour at the fingertip that one cannot prevent with surgery.
Level of evidence: Level 5