What is a broken nose?
Also known as nose fracture or nasal fracture is the crack or break in the bone in the nose cartilage which normally occurs in the septum or over the noses bridge. When this happens, you may not have a functional nose. A broken nose can be as a result of fighting, sports, falls and accidents, especially by motor vehicle.
Signs and symptoms of a broken nose
- Difficulty in breathing through the nose
- Crooked or misshapen nose
- Blockage of a nasal passage
- Swelling of the nose and surrounding areas
- Pain or tenderness especially when the nose is touched
Complication of a broken nose
- Nasal septal hematoma
Collection of blood knows as septal hematoma sometimes accompany nose fracture which can result in blockage of both nostrils. The condition requires emergency surgical drainage to prevent cartilage damage.
- Deviated septum
This is a condition occurring when the nasal septum, the wall dividing two sides of the nose is displaced to one side thereby narrowing that nasal passage. The condition is corrected through surgery.
- Neck injury
- Cartilage fracture
Surgical repair for a broken nose
The following approaches can be taken for broken nose surgery
- Closed reduction
In this procedure, a nasal speculum is used to open the nostrils, and the displaced bones and cartilage in the nose are manually realigned to their original positions using special instruments. The procedure is normally conducted before 14 days elapses from the time of fracture to ensure best results.
For breaks that have gone past 14 days, multiple breaks or severe breaks, closed reduction procedure may not apply and therefore to reshape the nose (rhinoplasty) and realign the bones, surgery may be necessary. In case the breaks might have damaged your nasal septum resulting in difficulty in breathing or obstruction, reconstructive surgery is known as septorhinoplasty may be recommended.
Broken nose surgery recovery
- Packing your nostrils with moistened gauze strip in case of persistent bleeding. The strips contain antibiotic ointment which prevents infections.
- Staying back at home for some few days, 14 days if possible due to bruises and swellings
- Taking the recommended medication like the ones for pain relief and swelling