A broken nose can not only change the way a person looks, but it can make breathing much harder. Nasal fractures usually affect both bone and cartilage. In some cases, a septal hematoma (collection of blood) will form on the nasal septum (a wall made of bone and cartilage inside the nose that separates the sides of the nose). That’s why immediately diagnosing and correcting a broken nose is so important. Failure to recognize and treat a septal hematoma within a few days of the injury can lead to permanent cartilage damage and possibly permanently disfiguring changes to the nose.
Signs Of A Broken Nose
- Intense pain, often localized to a specific side of the nose
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Swelling inside and outside the nose
- Dark bruises around the eyes
- Immediately visible deformity of the nose
If you think your nose is broken, it is critical that you see an otolaryngologist right away. The otolaryngologists at CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat are doctors who specialize in the medical and surgical management of all conditions of the head and neck area, excluding the eyes (ophthalmology), the brain (neurology and neurosurgery), and the neck spinal column (orthopedic surgery or neurosurgery).
If an adult or child with a broken nose is seen within a week of the injury, it may be possible to repair the nose right away. Beyond one week for a child or two weeks for an adult, it may be necessary to wait several months before the nose can be surgically repaired, typically with a much more extensive operation since the bones will have already healed in the wrong position and must be cut and repositioned.