Nasal fractures are deemed to be one of the most common types of facial bone fractures, representing 40% to 50% of cases. Normally, a broken nose can be treated with good outcomes in the majority of patients. However, due to the cosmetic and functional importance, and the prominent location of the nose, nasal injuries present a compelling challenge to the facial plastic surgeon to restore everything to normal.
Given the importance of the nasal bone in facial aesthetics, Dr. Monica Tadros facial plastic surgeon conducts in-depth preoperative screening of the injury prior to committing to surgery. Dr. Monica Tadros is proud to be among a few broken nose repair specialists in NJ & NYC who can truly provide her patients with long-term aesthetic and functional outcomes of the treatment. Thousands of successful broken nose surgeries have allowed Dr. Tadros to be among the most respected and trusted plastic surgeons across the U.S.
What is a Nasal Fracture?
A nose fracture is a break in the bones of the nose. Direct trauma to the nose that results in an immediate nosebleed indicates that a fracture of some sort probably took place. The clinical relevance of any fracture requires a thorough evaluation by a specialist. A nasal fracture is one of the most commonly missed diagnoses after an injury to the face. The top-rated facial surgeon Dr. Monica Tadros specializes in nasal fracture surgery. A fracture of one of the bones of the nose may not only change the appearance; it could cause a septal perforation, deviated septum, loss of smell, and long-term breathing difficulty. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Monica Tadros to correct the nasal fracture.
Nasal Fracture In Depth
by Monica Tadros, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Evaluation of nasal trauma is complicated and involves far more than checking the bridge of the nose to see if it is broken. Commonly, deep fractures can occur with no visible external symptoms, including injury to the septum, nasal cartilage, middle turbinates, inferior turbinates, and sinuses.
The causes of nasal bone fracture have been variously reported. According to NCBI, assaults accounted for 38%, falls accounted for 31%, and injuries during exercises accounted for 17% of fractures.
Critical considerations commonly missed on the evaluation of nasal fracture in NJ include:
- Septal Hematoma: The most serious complication of nasal trauma is a septal hematoma. This is a collection of blood that peels the lining of the septum away and creates pressure on the underlying cartilage. Failure to drain a septal hematoma may rapidly result in irreversible pressure necrosis of the septum. This is a common source of septal perforation and the gradual collapse of the nose over time.
- Partial Nasal Bone Fracture: The nasal bones that comprise the nasal bridge define the shape of the upper third of the nose. Obvious fractures may result in dislocation or comminuted (fragmented/crushed) bones. Non-classical injuries are commonly missed and may only involve part of the nasal bone at the radix. These fractures may cause the nasal bones to splay apart or a new “bump” to form without actually shifting the bones to the left or the right. This is especially concerning in pediatric and adolescent injuries that might result in mal-development of the nose if left untreated.
- Nasal Cartilage Fracture: While the upper third of the external nose is bone, the lower two-thirds is cartilage. A cartilage fracture represents a serious condition and may occur with or without a nasal bone fracture. These fractures are most commonly missed because they cannot be detected on Xray, cannot be seen through the edema and usually result in delayed symptoms.
- Nasal Septum Fracture: Fracture of the nasal septum is the most commonly missed injury after nasal trauma. The cartilage or bone of the septum may break causing a deviation, or slip off its original resting position on the floor of the nose. In pediatric and adolescent injuries this may result in mal-development of the nasal shape, breathing problems and poor sinus circulation, leading to significant breathing and sinus problems even years after the injury.
- Middle Turbinate Fracture: The middle turbinates are the structures that guard the entrance into the sinuses. They are located on each side of the septum. When the septum fractures, it may break into the middle turbinate. When this happens, the sinuses become blocked with scar tissue. This can cause existing sinus issues to worsen, or new sinus symptoms to develop over months to years.
What makes Dr. Tadros’ approach to diagnosis and treatment of nasal trauma different?
There are many delicate structures that help the nose function at its best. Nasal surgery specialist Dr. Tadros performs a maxillofacial (sinus) CT scan on all her patients to determine exactly what has been impacted. Careful examination and review of the CT scan images with the patient will reveal many injuries commonly missed. Dr. Tadros has the broadest experience in nasal restoration for patients who had broken noses using the most advanced minimally invasive, reconstructive and cosmetic techniques to meet your individual needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
A nasal fracture usually happens when there is a break in the nose bones caused by direct trauma. This may cause a deviated septum and difficulty breathing. Below are some frequently asked questions about nasal fractures in NJ.
What Are the Symptoms of a Broken Nose?
You can usually tell if your nose is broken if you feel pain or tenderness when touching your nose. Your nose may also appear swollen. Other signs of a broken nose include bruising and difficulty breathing. If your nose is bleeding or you hear a cracking sound when you touch your nose, it’s time to see a doctor and start a broken nose treatment at our NJ clinic.
What Are the Potential Complications of a Broken Nose?
The resulting structural, functional, and aesthetic consequences associated with a broken nose require a complete understanding of the topic. Dr. Tadros carefully assesses all the potential candidates for broken nose reconstruction in New Jersey and takes the necessary time to explain all the possible complications of a nasal fracture. These can include:
- Septal hematoma
- Nasal obstruction
- Septal abscess
- Nasolacrimal duct injury
- Avascular necrosis of nasal septal cartilage
- Fracture of the cribriform plate
Why Can I Only Breathe Through One Nostril?
If you can only breathe through one nostril your nose may be simply congested on one side. However, another reason for this might be a deviated septum or a nose fracture. A deviated septum blocks one nostril and restricts your airflow making it difficult for you to breathe. A broken nose can also cause a deviated septum. Often times being able to breathe through one nostril is a sign of a nasal fracture.
How Long Does a Broken Nose Take To Heal?
A broken nose usually takes about 3 weeks to heal on its own. If your nose has become crooked or misshaped you should see a doctor. A doctor may be able to realign your broken nose without surgery, but this should be done no more than 2 weeks after the fracture. Surgical broken nose reconstruction in NYC should also be done within 2 weeks of the fracture. Your doctor may perform surgery to fix the broken bones or reshape them if the break caused a deviated septum.
Why is My Nose Crooked?
A crooked nose is usually the result of trauma or a deviated septum. If your crooked nose causes breathing problems you should see a doctor. If you experience nose bleeds, loud breathing, or difficulty sleeping on one side you should also see a doctor for your crooked nose. However, sometimes a crooked nose is just something you are born with and if it doesn’t bother you, you don’t have to do anything.