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Extradigital glomus tumour of the thigh causing 8 years of undiagnosed debilitating pain
  1. Emma Claire Avery1,
  2. Haley Augustine1,
  3. Shachar Sade2 and
  4. Jana Dengler1,3
  1. 1Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Department of Pathology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Tory Trauma Program, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jana Dengler; jana.dengler{at}


A woman in her mid-50s was referred to a plastic surgeon with an 8-year history of undiagnosed, localised severe, reproducible pain of the right thigh. Treatment with oral and topical analgesics, corticosteroids, acupuncture and physiotherapy did not provide symptom relief. She was referred to multiple specialists over the preceding 8 years including chronic pain physicians, physiatry, orthopaedic surgery and plastic surgery. Investigations including sonographic and MRI eventually revealed a non-specific soft tissue abnormality in the area of tenderness, which was excised en bloc. Histopathology revealed an extradigital glomus tumour. The patient’s symptoms immediately and permanently resolved postexcision.

Physicians seeing patients suffering from undiagnosed focal, reproducible pain should consider extradigital glomus tumours in their differential diagnosis. Workup for extradigital glomus tumour includes focused sonographic or MRI over the area of pain. Additionally, local injection of an anaesthetic agent can be used to assist with diagnosis.

  • Pain
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • Radiology

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  • Contributors ECA was responsible for chart review, data collection and drafting the manuscript. HA was responsible for reviewing and editing the manuscript. SS was responsible for reviewing and editing the manuscript and preparing figure 2. JD was responsible for reviewing and editing the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.