Encyclopedia

Fractured nose

Description

Nasal fracture or nasal fracture is a crack or disruption of the integrity of the bony surface of the nose. This is usually due to external trauma.

Blows to the face during fights, traffic accidents, falls and sports injuries are the most common causes of nasal fracture.

Nasal fractures are often identified as the most common type of facial fracture and account for approximately half of all facial fractures according to some studies.

What are the symptoms?

Normal injury to the nose is evident by bruising and swelling of the skin on and around the nose and bleeding from the nostrils. Circumstances surrounding the manner of causing the traumatic injury may lead to suspicion of a broken nasal bone or nasal fracture.

Symptoms that may give rise to reasonable suspicion that a person has a broken nose are:

• Tenderness when the nose is touched;
• Swelling of the nose or face;
• Bruising of the nose;
• Bruising under the eyes;
• Deformity, most frequent twisting of the nose;
• Bleeding from one or both nostrils;
• When touching the surface of the nose, a crunching or cracking sound /crepitations/ or a sound similar to that of rubbing of a hair between the two fingers.
Pain and difficulty breathing through the nostrils;

What are the causes?

Causes of a broken nose are related to trauma to the nose or face. The most common causes of this kind of trauma are:

• Beatings and blows to the face;
• Traffic accidents;
• Falls – they are the most common cause of nasal bone fractures in children.
• Sports injuries or training.

Nose Fracture Treatment

If you suspect a broken nose, you can do the following at home:

• Put ice wrapped in a bath on the nose for about 15 minutes and then remove it. This procedure should be repeated every hour during the day. Ice packs should be applied for 1-2 days to reduce pain and swelling. A packet of frozen corn or peas can be used as it will take the shape of the nose and so be more effective.
• To reduce pain you can use standard pain relievers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Use these medications only as directed.
• You can also use a nasal decongestant which will help breathing through the nostrils.
• Do not use the nose drops > if the nose continues to bleed and seek medical help.
• The above medicines should not be used for a period longer than 3 days.
Elevate your head constantly when you remember and especially when lying down to avoid further swelling of the nose. Since you can’t control the position of your head when you sleep, it is useful to put some pillows or if you sleep on a mattress you can put thick books under it.

For milder fractures where the nasal bone is not displaced, the doctor recommends only pain relievers, ice packs and nasal drops. But when there is displacement of the broken parts of the bone, the doctor can try to set them.

The fitting uses analgesics and a local anesthetic. Most such fitting procedures are done after the swelling has gone down. But not all dislocations of the broken nasal bone can be fixed immediately.

Some fractures require surgery by an otolaryngologist. If the bleeding from the nostrils continues, the doctor will place a soft gauze inside the nasal cavity, which is removed after 2-3 days.

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