Nasal Fractures

in Denver and Lone Tree, Colorado

Projecting prominently from the central part of the faceit is no surprise that the nose is the most commonly broken bone on the headA broken nose (nasal fracture) can significantly alter your appearanceIt can also make it much harder to breathe through the nose.

What is a nasal fracture?

Getting struck on the nosewhether by another persona dooror the floor is not pleasantYour nose will hurt—usually a lotYou’ll likely have a nose bleed and soon find it difficult to breathe through your noseSwelling develops both inside and outside the noseand you may get dark bruises around your eyes (“black eyes”).

Nasal fractures can affect both bone and cartilageA collection of blood (called a “septal hematoma”) can sometimes form on the nasal septum (a wall made of bone and cartilage inside the nose that separates the sides of the nose).

Nasal fracturesor broken nosesresult from facial injuries in contact sports or fallsInjuries affecting the teeth and mouth may also affect the nose.

How can I prevent a broken nose?

  • Wear protective gear to shield your face when participating in contact sports.
  • Avoid fist fights.

When should I visit a doctor?

If you’ve been struck in the noseit’s important to see one of our physicians to check for septal hematomaIf you suspect your nose may be brokensee an ENT Specialist – head and neck surgeon within one week of the injuryIf you are seen within one to two weeksit may be possible to repair your nose immediatelyIf you wait longer than two weeks (one week for children) you will likely need to wait several months before your nose can be surgically straightened and fixed.

If left untreateda broken nose can leave you with an undesirable appearance as well as permanent difficulty in trying to breathe.

Broken nose treatment options

If your nose is broken but not out of positionyou may need no treatment other than rest and being careful not to bump your nose. If your nose is broken so badly that it needs to be repositionedcall our office and one of our specialists will determine the best treatment optionYou can have your nose repairedin the office in some situationsOne of our doctors can give you some local anesthesiareposition the broken bones into placeand then hold them in the right location with a “cast” made of plasticplasteror metalThis cast will then stay in place for a weekA similar approachusing general anesthesia in the operating roommay also be used.

Broken nose surgery

If more than two weeks have passed since the time of your injuryyou may need to wait a while before having your nose straightened surgicallyIt may be necessary to wait two to three months before a good repair can be doneby which time there will be less swelling and your nose will have begun to healReduced swelling will allow the surgeon to get a more accurate picture of how your nose originally lookedThis type of surgery is considered reconstructive plastic surgeryas its goal is to restore your appearance to the way it was prior to injuryIf your repair is done within two weeks of the injuryrestoring prior appearance is the only possible goalIf you have waited several months for the repairit is often possible to change the appearance of your nose as you desire.