Nose Fracture

A nose fracture is a break in the bones of the nose.

  • Causes

    A broken nose is caused by a blunt, hard blow to the nose. It often occurs along with injuries to other parts of the nose and face.

  • Definition

    A nose fracture is a break in the bones of the nose.

    Facial Bones
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  • Diagnosis

    The doctor will ask about your symptoms and how the injury occurred, and will examine your nose and face for:

    • Irregularities in the shape
    • Movement of the bones of the nose and face
    • Rough sensation when your nose is moved
    • Pain or tenderness to touch at the nasal bridge
    • Injury to the nasal septum (especially hematoma)
    • Any fluid from the nose, such as blood or even cerebrospinal fluid in severe cases

    Although not necessary, imaging tests may be done to confirm the fracture, and check its location and serverity. They usually are not done until the inflammation goes down. Imaging tests may include:

    • X-rays
    • CT scan

  • Prevention

    Broken noses may not always be preventable. To reduce your chance of getting of a broken nose, take these steps:

    • Wear protective headgear with face masks when playing contact sports, or when riding a bicycle or motorcycle.
    • Wear a seat belt when driving or riding in a car.
    • Avoid fights.

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that may increase your chance of a nose fracture include:

    • Any condition that causes frequent falls, such as:

      • Advanced age
      • Seizure disorder
      • Alcoholism
    • Previous nose fracture or nose injury
    • Participating in sports, especially contact sports
    • Reckless behavior during recreational activities or driving

    • Failure to wear a
      seat belt
      —keep in mind that airbags can also sometimes cause injury

  • Symptoms

    A nose fracture may cause:

    • Pain in the bridge of the nose
    • Inflammation of the nose or surrounding area of the face
    • Bleeding from the nose (often heavy)
    • Difficulty breathing through the nose or nostril
    • Discoloration of the nose
    • Black eyes

  • Treatment

    Treatment depends on the severity of the break. If your nose is broken and in position, the only treatment you will need is home care. It is important to be careful to not bump your nose while it heals. More severe breaks may need realignment or surgery.

    Surgery may be needed to set the fracture if:

    • The fracture is severe and will not heal without surgery
    • The nose is severely misshapen
    • The fracture impairs breathing

    If you are diagnosed with a nose fracture, follow your doctor's