The nose is the most commonly fractured facial bone due to its central and prominent position. A blow to the nose can be very painful and often causes a nosebleed. The subsequent swelling can obscure the underlying anatomy and it can be difficult to determine if a nasal fracture is present. X-rays and CT scans can be expensive and expose patients to radiation and are usually unnecessary when evaluating nasal fractures. Dr. Bader will perform a thorough exam of your nose to determine if it has been broken. Most nasal fractures will heal properly without any intervention.
If the shape of your nose was significantly altered or you are experiencing trouble breathing through your nose you may be a candidate for surgery. Most fractures can be treated without an incision by manipulating the nasal bones back into proper position, known as a closed reduction, and held in place by a nasal splint for a short period of time.
The nasal septum is the partition of bone and cartilage that divides the left and right sides of the nose. The force of a blow to the nose can be transmitted through the nasal septum and lead to a fracture. This can cause a deviated septum and blockage of nasal breathing. A reduction of the septal fracture and septoplasty are often necessary to correct this problem. This requires an incision hidden inside the nose.
Some nasal fractures that are more complex or that have already fused and healed often require more extensive reconstructive surgery. Some patents still have a nasal deformity even after their fracture was treated with a closed reduction. This can be addressed with revision surgery aimed at reshaping and repositioning the nasal bones. New cuts in the nasal bones, known as osteotomies, to reduce and set the fracture properly may be necessary. Nasal obstruction can develop even years after a nasal fractures as been properly reduced due to weakening of some of the attachments between the nasal cartilages and the nasal bones. Revision surgery aimed at reinforcing and re-suspending the supportive cartilages of the nose.