Nasal Fractures

Nasal fractures are common injuries.

The nose is a commonly injured part of the face.  In fact, the nasal bones are most commonly fractured bones of all the bones in the face.  The fractures can happen from any sort of impact to the nose.

A nasal fracture can affect the outside shape and symmetry of the nose.  But it is important to remember that the inside of the nose can also be affected when someone has a nasal fracture.  For example, the impact from a nasal fracture can affect the nasal septum.  The septum can become deviated after the type of impact that can cause a broken nose.  A deviated nasal septum can affect the way the nose functions.  It can lead to nasal blockage and congestion.

The diagnosis of a nasal fracture can often be made by a thorough history and exam.  Often, the outside of the nose will change shape immediately after the injury.  The nose can become crooked.  Some portions can become flatter.  It is also important to see the effect the injury has had on the inside of the nose.  In our office, we will use a nasal endoscope to take a thorough look on the inside of the nose.

Many patients who have nasal fractures may have x-rays or CT scans to diagnose the fracture.  Not everyone with a nasal injury needs these types of tests, but these tests can also be helpful in diagnosing nasal fractures in some situations.

Some patients with nasal fractures may not need any treatment.  The broken bones may heal on their own.  If the bones are shifted, treatment may be necessary.  The goal of treatment is to help align the nasal bones into a more normal position.  This is sometimes done under local anesthesia in the office.  Some patients have this done in the operating room under anesthesia.  The procedure is called a closed nasal reduction.