What Do I Do about a Broken Nose?

. Posted in SURGERY

An acute nasal fracture, known as a broken nose, should be reset within the first 72 hours and as soon as most of the swelling goes down. This operation can sometimes be done in an office setting but often requires an immediate trip to the operating room. The surgeon can take an instrument and, without making any cuts, fracture the nasal bones back into proper position. If the septum has been moved as a result of the trauma, the surgeon can also attempt to move the septum by breaking it
back into the midline position. This very conservative procedure will most often place the nose back to its pretrauma position and sometimes even move it into a better position than that before the trauma.

This procedure is usually performed with a topical anesthesia and sometimes requires local anesthesia with sedation. If this procedure is not attempted immediately after the trauma (within 72 hours in most cases), the nasal and/or the septal bones will start to heal and fuse in a crooked position. The only option left is for a surgeon to perform a rhinoplasty. I believe it is best to allow time for the bones to heal well before attempting to perform a rhinoplasty. If the bones are not healed, you can increase the risk of shattering the bones, which can be disastrous. I typically wait 3 months or more for the healing process to finish before attempting a rhinoplasty on these patients.

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