The authors report a series of 51 patients with glomus tumours in the hand. The duration of symptoms before treatment averaged 10 years. No one site or finger was more commonly involved. Objective features were limited to a blue discoloration in 29%, a pulp nodule or a nail deformity in 33%. An osseous defect was seen on plain X-ray films in 36%. Diagnosis depended on clinical suspicion in 90%. Careful dissection and complete excision of the tumour almost always offer permanent relief. A direct transungual approach was used in the subungual tumours with only one cosmetic problem. Recurrence of symptoms occurred in only two cases after a pain-free interval of 2 years.