Nose (Nasal bone) Fractures
The nose is easily exposed to trauma because it is the most prominent feature of the face. The paired nasal bones, the nasal process of the frontal bone, and the maxilla form a framework to support the cartilaginous skeleton. Although most of the nasal structures are cartilaginous, the nasal bones usually are fractured in an injury.
Injuries to the nose are relatively common; in cases of facial trauma, nasal fractures account for approximately 40 percent of bone injuries. Fights and sports injuries account for most nasal fractures in adults, followed by falls and vehicle crashes.
Signs and symptoms of a broken nose:
- Pain or tenderness, particularly when touching your nose
- Nose Bleeds
- Swelling of your nose and surrounding areas
- Bruising around your nose or eyes
- Crooked nose
- Difficulty breathing through your nose
- Discharge of mucus or blood from your nose
- Feeling that one or both of your nasal passages are blocked
Complications or injuries related to a broken nose:
- Collection of blood. Sometimes clotted blood form in a broken nose, creating a condition called a septal hematoma. A septal hematoma can block one or both nostrils. Septal hematoma requires prompt surgical drainage to prevent cartilage damage.
- Deviated septum. A nose fracture may cause a deviated septum, a condition that occurs when the thin wall dividing the two sides of your nose (nasal septum) is displaced, narrowing the nasal passage. Medications, such as decongestants and antihistamines, can help you manage a deviated septum, but surgery is required to correct the condition.
- Cartilage fracture. If your fracture is due to a forceful blow, such as from an automobile accident, you also may experience a cartilage fracture. If your injury is severe enough to warrant surgical treatment, the surgeon should address both your bone and cartilage injuries.
You can help prevent a nose fracture with these guidelines:
- Wear your seat belt when traveling in a motorized vehicle, and keep children restrained in age-appropriate child safety seats.
- Wear the recommended safety equipment, such as a helmet with a face mask, when playing hockey, football or other contact sports.
- Wear a helmet during bicycle or motorcycle rides.
Dr. Bolourian is on active trauma call at local hospitals and performs surgeries for facial trauma including nasal fractures on routine basis. You can trust that you will receive the superior care you deserve. Trauma can have a great physical and psychological impact on you and we are here to help.