Nasal fracture, also referred to as a broken nose, is a crack or break in the cartilage (bony portion) of the nose, it usually occurs in the flexible partition of the nostrils called septum.
Since the nose is located in the prominent area of the face, it is more prone to sudden impact from violence and accidents. As a matter of fact, the nasal bone is the third most vulnerable part of the body. According to research, approximately 40% of all facial injury cases include nasal fractures and each year around 50,000 people in the United States suffer from a broken nose.
Mild nasal fractures mostly cause swelling and nose bleeding for a short period of time. Due to this, people may be unaware of the crack, but a slight deformity may be noticed as it heals. On the other hand, a severe nose fracture can cause visible deformities right after the impact. A person may experience severe nosebleed and airway flow problems due to a shift of the nasal septum.
Most nasal fractures are due to car accidents, contact sports, violent assaults and sudden accidents in workplaces. There are several treatment methods for nasal fractures and workers compensation plastic surgeon may help you correct the nasal deformity caused by several factors.
One of the most common causes of a nasal fracture is associated with trauma affecting the nose or face. Other causes include:
- Sudden fall
- Sports-related injury
- Violent fights
- Getting hit by a hard object
- Car accidents
Signs you may be suffering from nasal fracture include:
- Nose bleed
- Deformed nose
- Pain surrounding the nasal structures
- Cracking sound when touching your nose
- Swelling, tenderness, and bruising of the nose
- Blockage of the nasal airway passage
It’s important to seek immediate medical help when you experience a combination of these symptoms. Don’t also try to straighten your nose by yourself for it may worsen the nose injury.
A physical examination is usually performed to properly diagnose a nasal fracture. The doctor would check the symmetry, shape, alignment of the nasal bones and the position of the septum. With the use of bright light and a device called a nasal speculum, the doctor would examine the inside part of the nose to check if there are any bruises or blood clot.
If swelling and tenderness are present, the doctor may ask you to return after several days once the swelling has subsided. This is to better assess the injury. An X-ray or a CT scan may be necessary to determine the degree of damage obtained.
The doctor may refer you to a plastic surgeon, especially if your nose is deformed, has obtained airway flow problems and you’re experiencing symptoms that need specialized care.
The treatment depends on the severity of the nose fracture. If the nose is misaligned after an injury, seek immediate medical help. The doctor may immediately try to realign your nose (this is usually done without any surgical procedures).
If the nose is persistently bleeding, the doctor would put a hemostatic sponge or gauze at the front of the nose to stop the bleeding.
Regardless of whether the nose fracture is mild or severe, if there is visible deformity the doctor would let the swelling subside before performing a medical procedure. Nose realignment, or a procedure called close reduction (a non-surgical procedure) is usually done within 10 days after the injury.
For reshaping and to improve the appearance of the nose, or to improve airflow, a plastic surgeon may perform a surgical procedure called rhinoplasty. Septorhinoplasty may also be performed if the septum needs to be repaired.
A nasal fracture can be prevented by:
- Remembering to wear a seat belt whenever in a car
- Wearing headgear during contact sports
- Wearing your helmet when riding on a motorcycle or bicycle
- Always wearing the required protective gear at work
- Being cautious at all times – pay attention to potential signs of danger
- Wearing properly fitting shoes to prevent sudden falls
If you have sustained your nasal fracture at work and your broken nose requires a plastic surgery treatment, a workers compensation plastic surgeon may help treat and properly evaluate your injury.
If you would like more information about Dr. Zaydon or plastic surgery for work-related injuries in Miami and Florida, please Contact Us.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.