The nasal bones are the most commonly fractured bones in the face. Trauma to the nose can also cause injury to the nasal cartilage, significantly altering your facial appearance and your ability to breath properly. The aim for correcting a broken nose is to return the fractured bone and cartilage to it’s original, pre-injured position. The timing for this correction is critical, if not treated properly it can lead to appearance and function issues.
Symptoms of a Broken Nose
If you have a few or all symptoms listed below, you may have broken nose:
- Swelling on the bridge and tip of the nose
- Crooked or bent nose
- Bleeding from the nose
- Bruising around the eyes
- Difficulty breathing
When should I see a doctor?
Swelling within the first several days after injury may obscure the appearance of a crooked nose, making it difficult for you to assess whether it is in-fact broken.
If you display symptoms of a broken nose, an examination by Dr Choroomi is important and should not be delayed.
- If your injury in severe, it is crucial you seek immediate medical attention. A specialist needs to rule out potentially dangerous complications that may have occurred such as septal hematoma or other major face, eye, and neck injuries. An x-ray or CT scan can be performed to help identify other facial fractures that have occurred during injury.
- If your injury is minor, accompanied only by swelling and moderate pain, you may opt to wait before seeing a specialist. By allowing the swelling to subside, a more accurate evaluation of your injury can be made. It is best not to wait longer than a week as a delay in treatment may result in an increasingly difficult and invasive surgical procedure.
How is Broken Nose Surgery Performed?
The treatment type for a broken nose is dependent on
- the extent of the trauma
- underlying hidden damage
- the degree of nasal deformity
- the amount of time since the injury
The best window to correct a broken nose is within fourteen days of the injury. After fourteen days the bone has begun to repair itself, healing abnormally, making it tougher to put back to its previous position. Options for treatment of a broken nose include:
Closed Nasal Reduction Surgery
There is a brief window immediately following injury or 7-14 days post trauma when your nose may be repositioned with a minimally invasive procedure called Closed Nasal Reduction. This procedure is performed under local anesthetic or mild sedation and has a very quick recovery period of 1-2 days. Without making an incision, Dr Choroomi realigns the bone and cartilage into their proper position and corrects any breathing issues. A cast is placed across the nose for a week to protect the bone during initial healing.
Open Nasal Reduction Surgery
If two weeks or more have passed since your nasal trauma, a surgical rhinoplasty procedure will need to be performed to correct the aesthetic effects of your broken nose. This is a longer and more complicated procedure performed under general anesthetics. Repair of the nasal fracture requires re-breaking the nose, followed by straightening the bone and splinting to aid in recovery. If necessary, cartilage and/or spreader grafts will be used to fill in irregularities on the nasal bridge. Any breathing issues will be resolved simultaneously. A cast and splint will be worn for a week to provide support as the nose heals. The recovery is typically 2 week, you can expect swelling with bruising under the eyes and around the nose.
Will my nose look the same after Broken Nose Surgery?
Every effort is made by Dr Choroomi to restore your nose to its former appearance. During your pre-operative visit, he requests pictures of your nose prior to injury to help ensure all measures are taken to return your nose to it’s previous form.
If extensive time has passed since injury, patients often ask to have cosmetic corrections made to improve the appearance of their nose. This may include, but not limited to, reducing nasal bumps, bulbous tips, and flared nostrils. This is an excellent time to have cosmetic rhinoplasty as you will only have one recovery.
Broken Nose Surgery is often performed in combination with:
- Sinus Surgery is often performed in combination to relieve any pain or pressure associated with sinusitis.
- Deviated Septum Surgery (Septoplasty) is performed to straighten a bent septum (the cartilage that separates your nostrils). When the septum is bent it can cause breathing issues that affect sleeping and the quality of life.
- Functional Rhinoplasty may be performed a year after injury to correct specific issues that are affecting your breathing.
- Cosmetic Rhinoplasty, a primary rhinoplasty may be performed a year after injury to change the aesthetic shape of your nose. By combining these procedures, patients have one recovery and less downtime.