Facial Plastic Surgery Blog

Patients come to my office all the time wondering if they’ve broken their nose.

The short answer is that it doesn’t matter …¬†kind of ūüôā

What do you mean ‘it doesn’t matter?’

First let me qualify that statement. Your nose isn’t like other bones in the body. It isn’t a weight bearing bone or joint. So it isn’t like your leg, foot, or arm¬†where immediate action is necessary. In most nasal fractures, NO action is needed. We mostly recommend avoidance of rigorous activity and contact sports for about 4-6 weeks. And if you can avoid wearing glasses that would also be helpful to avoid depressing one or both nasal bones.

So what does matter?

#1 Appearance

Does it look ok? Is there a bump, a cut or is it crooked?

If there are any of these, then it’s more likely that there has been a nasal fracture. Also if there’s a nose bleed or if there’s bruising or ‘raccoon eyes’, then a fracture probably happened.

If any of the above has happened then it’s a good idea to see an ENT, or a facial plastic surgeon as soon as you can. And if you can’t, go to your nearest ER or urgent care.

#2  Function

If there has been a change in your ability to breath through your nose¬†it’s a good idea to see a ENT or facial plastic surgeon.

It might not mean that there’s a nasal fracture, but there might have been an injury to the septum that needs to be evaluated.

#3 Timing

Timing is important only from the perspective of intervention.

If straightening of the nose needs to be done, physicians have a 10 day window from the time of injury to reset nasal bones in a minimally invasive way. Sometimes we use the 14 day mark as the last possible day for a closed reduction.

If it’s after the first window of opportunity, then we typically wait a full 6 weeks from the time of injury to reevaluate. At that point most of the swelling has gone down and then we can more appropriately assess the need for intervention.

I hope that helps! If you have any other questions email us at info@drundavia.com, come in for consultation or check out our other blog posts on nasal fractures and rhinoplasty.