A broken nose or nasal fracture, occurs when the bone or cartilage is cracked, moved or crushed. This often causes pain, bleeding, swelling and breathing difficulties. Nasal fractures can seriously alter your appearance if they are severe or left untreated.
Most nasal fractures should be evaluated by a surgeon within seven to ten days of injury.
Minor repairs can be accomplished in the office, but more work may be required. If you feel your nose has been broken, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
What Causes a Nasal Fracture?
Commonly referred to as a broken nose, a nasal fracture is a break or crack in the bone in your nose. Contact with a fixed object, such as a door or wall can cause a break. Contact sports (like hockey and football) and motor vehicle accidents are common causes of a broken nose.
What Are the Symptoms of a Nasal Fracture?
Pain when touched, swelling of the nose and bleeding from the nose are common symptoms of a nasal fracture. If you have a nose injury accompanied by difficulty breathing, unstoppable bleeding and a noticeable change in the shape of your nose, you should seek medical attention as it is probably broken.
To confirm a nasal fracture, your doctor will perform a physical exam. He or she will press on the sides of your nose and look inside your nostrils for signs of broken bones. Topical anesthetics may be applied before the physical exam to control the pain. An imaging test is usually unnecessary, but based on the severity of your injury a CT scan may be required if a physical exam is too painful to be performed.
Nasal Fracture Repair
A fracture can result in long-term complications and may be a source of cosmetic embarrassment. Repairing a nasal fracture may involve a simple in-office procedure to reposition the broken bones or a more complex surgery that involves realigning the bones and nasal tissue. San Jose residents with nasal fractures should consult an ENT doctor for help determining the correct treatment.
Call Camino Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic at (408) 227-6300 for more information or to schedule an appointment.