A nasal fracture is an unfortunate event that most commonly happens during contact sports or from a fall or blow to the nose. A nose fracture occurs when one collides with a door, floor, or is struck on the nose by another person (think of hockey players, boxers and brotherly fights) and these factors are the most common causes of a nasal fracture.
Since nasal fractures affect both bone and cartilage, a “broken nose” can leave swelling, dark bruises resembling two black eyes, and can permanently change the shape of the nose.
Not only can a broken nose (nasal fracture) significantly alter your appearance, but it often makes it much harder to breathe through the nose. To protect against a broken nose during contact sports it is important to wear protective gear to shield your face and nose. It is also important to avoid getting punched in the nose.
When to See a Doctor
It is important to seek treatment if you have been hit in the nose to avoid worsening problems. If seen within two weeks after the incident and treated promptly, it might be possible to repair the nose immediately. Once a patient delays seeking treatment, it is normally a six month wait until the nose fully heals and can then be surgically straightened and fixed.
A doctor like ENT specialist and Michigan physician Dr. Haitham Masri can determine if the nose can be straightened just after the fracture and this is the time we most recommend seeing one of our specialists.
Dr. Masri may recommend an x-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan as the clearest method to determine if you have a broken nose. However, it remains that the best way to tell if your nose is broken is if it is difficult to breath through your nose and if your nose simply looks different or ‘broken.’
Treating Nasal Fractures with Surgery
Repairing a nasal fracture is surgically a straightforward procedure. It is best to consult with an ENT specialist like Michigan physician Dr. Haitham Masri soon after the injury as it is preferable that the nose repair occurs right away if a patient wants to restore their nose to its original shape.
If more than two weeks have passed since the time of your injury, it may be necessary to wait two to three months before a good repair can be done, by which time there will be less swelling and your nose will have begun to heal. By waiting six months to a year to correct or change the new shape of the nose, this may require consulting an ENT specialist like Dr. Masri who has a background in both otolaryngology and plastic surgery.
The reduced swelling is the best way for a surgeon to see how the nose originally looked. This type of surgery is considered reconstructive plastic surgery, as its goal is to restore your appearance to the way it was prior to injury. If your repair is done within two weeks of the injury, restoring the prior appearance is the main goal. If you have waited several months for the repair, it is often possible to change the appearance of your nose as you desire with rhinoplasty. Should you be interested in this kind of appearance change as well as repair, you can feel confident that your otolaryngologist is a specialist in all surgery of the nose. No other specialty has more training in surgery on the nose, and ENT specialist and Michigan physician Dr. Haitham Masri is one of those otolaryngologists who focus exclusively on plastic surgery of the face.