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Nasal Fracture (Broken Nose): Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Oct 24, 2023

Nasal Fracture (Broken Nose): Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

A broken nose, also known as a nasal fracture, is caused by a break or crack in one of the nose's bones, most commonly the bone that crosses the bridge.

A broken nose is frequently caused by contact sports, falls, and car crashes that inflict facial injuries.

A nosebleed is a frequent side effect of a broken nose, and it can hurt. You can have bruises and edema under your eyes and around your nose. You can feel as though your nose is crooked, and breathing through it might be difficult.

Procedures that correct your nose may be part of your treatment for a broken nose. Usually, surgery is not required.

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Causes Of Nasal Fracture

Common causes of a broken nose include:

  • Injury suffered by participating in contact sports, such as football or hockey
  • Physical fights
  • Car accidents
  • Falling from height
  • Furthermore, rough play that resembles wrestling or bumping into a wall or door could result in a nasal fracture

Signs and Symptoms Of Nasal Fracture

The following signs and symptoms may indicate a broken nose:

  • Tenderness or pain, particularly when touching your nose
  • Swelling in the tissues surrounding and surrounding your nose
  • Bleeding from the nose.
  • Bruising around the nose or eyes
  • It is difficult to breathe through an uneven or deformed nose,
  • Mucus discharges from the nose,
  • Nasal passages feel partially or completely closed.

Risk Factors  Of Nasal Fracture

Any action that increases your risk of face injury can result in a broken nose. These endeavors may consist of:

  • Playing contact sports, including football and hockey, especially without a face mask or helmet
  • Involved in a violent fight
  • Riding a bicycle
  • Lifting weights (especially without a spotter)
  • Driving a vehicle and  not fastening a seat belt

Diagnosis  Of Nasal Fracture

Your doctor might apply pressure on the tissues surrounding your nose and its outer margins. He or she may look within your nasal canal to look for blockages and other signs of broken bones.

You may be given numbing medication to make the examination easier on your nose.

Generally, imaging tests like X-rays are not required. On the other hand, a computerized tomography (CT) scan can be necessary if your injuries are so serious that a thorough physical examination is not possible, or if your doctor thinks you might have more injuries.

Treatment  Of Nasal Fracture

You might not require medical attention if your small fracture hasn't resulted in your nose becoming crooked or otherwise malformed. If you merely apply ice to the affected area and take over-the-counter painkillers, you might be okay.

Manual Repositioning

Your doctor might be able to physically straighten your nose's bones and cartilage if the break has caused them to become misaligned. It is necessary to complete this within 14 days of the fracture, ideally earlier.

During this therapy, medications will be used to numb your nose. Healthcare professionals may use their fingers to gently press the nose back into position. To help straighten the fractured bones and cartilage, they might occasionally need to utilize specialized instruments.

Your nose may be splinted, with packing within and dressing outside. An internal splint may also be required for a brief period. The packing must typically be left in for a week if it is utilized. You could have the dressing on for two weeks or longer.

Antibiotics may also be prescribed to you to protect you from getting infected by bacteria that reside in your nose.


Surgery may be required for severe breaks, multiple breaks, or breaks that have not been treated for longer than 14 days. If necessary, surgery can straighten the bones and remodel your nose.

Your breathing may feel restricted if the break has harmed your nasal septum, which is the main portion of your nose that splits your nostrils. You can experience nasal congestion or feel as though your breathing is restricted. Reconstructive surgery may be recommended.

Also Read:

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NASAL POLYPS : Causes, Symptoms and Treatment : NEET PG ENTJuvenile Nasopharyngeal Angiofibroma: Site of Origin, Staging, Clinical Features, Clinical Examination, Diagnosis, TreatmentAnatomy of Middle Ear - NEET PG ENT
Eustachian Tube (Anatomy, Physiology and Diagnostic Tests)Otosclerosis: Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, TreatmentHow to Prepare ENT for PG Entrance Exams
Disorders of Nose and Paranasal Sinus - NEET PG ENTSinus Headache: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and TreatmentVOCAL CORD PARALYSIS: Causes, Nerve Palsy - NEET PG ENT

Prevention  Of Nasal Fracture

By following these tips, you can lessen your risk of a nasal fracture:

  • When riding in a motorized vehicle, fasten your seatbelt, and place your children in age-appropriate child safety seats.
  • When playing football, hockey, or other contact sports, wear the necessary safety gear, such as a helmet and face mask.
  • Always wear a helmet whether riding a bicycle or motorbike.

Complications Of Nasal Fracture

 The following injuries or problems could develop after a nose break:

  • Septum Deviation: An injury to the nose could cause a deviated septum. The nasal septum, the thin wall that divides your nose into its two sides and narrows your nasal airway, is dislocated, which is the cause of this illness. Decongestants and antihistamines are two examples of drugs that can be used to treat a deviated septum. Surgery is required to treat the illness.
  • A blood collection: When clotting blood clots build up in a cracked nose, they develop septal hematomas. A septal hemorrhage can obstruct one or both nostrils. Surgical drainage is necessary as soon as possible to prevent cartilage damage.
  • Fracture of the cartilage: You may also suffer from a cartilage fracture if your fracture was caused by a strong blow, such as one sustained in a vehicle accident. The surgeon should repair both your cartilage and bone problems if your accident is serious enough to require surgery.
  • A neck injury: A blow that breaks your nose could also harm the bones in your neck. Get medical attention right once if you think you may have a neck injury.

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