What To Do After A Nose Injury

What To Do After A Nose Injury - Dr Alan Evans - Rhinoplasty surgeon - Sydney

What To Do After A Nose Injury


In Case of a Nose Injury

The human nose is a delicate organ, and nose injuries—whether internal or external—can lead to issues that are not only aesthetic but can be seriously functional. In the case of nose fractures, seeing a surgeon immediately can prevent complications and costly rhinoplasty procedures at a later stage.


Types of Nose Injury’s

Common nose injuries often result in a bloody nose or bruising and swelling, without a fracture. A blood clot in the nasal septum—the wall that separates the two sides of the nasal cavity—can damage cartilage and lead to a deformity of the nose. The other common outcome is a nose fracture or broken nose.

In some cases the signs and symptoms of a broken nose become apparent immediately. Sometimes they take up to three days to develop. Signs and symptoms of a broken nose include:

– Tenderness or pain, especially to the touch,
– Swelling of the nose and the area around it,
– Bleeding from the nose,
– Bruising of and around the nose and bruising around the eyes,
– A misshapen or crooked nose,
– Difficulties breathing through the nose,
– Mucus discharge from the nose, and
– Loss of feeling in one or both nasal passages.


Seeing a doctor

Seek medical attention immediately if your nose injury is accompanied by a head or neck injury. You may experience this as a severe headache or neck pain or vomiting. Some people lose consciousness. Others have difficulty breathing, continuing nosebleeds and an ongoing draining of a watery or clear fluid from the nose. The nose may be broken if you notice that the shape of the nose has changed, if it looks twisted or crooked, apart from the effects of swelling.


Seeing a nose specialist

Timing is important for fixing broken noses.

An ENT surgeon performing rhinoplasty would prefer to treat a patient before alot of swelling takes place, as treatment is easier and simpler at that point. A nose fracture, if seen to quickly, can sometimes be fixed by putting the broken pieces into place manually. Unfortunately most people do not have their broken noses treated quickly enough for surgery to be avoided. The window of opportunity is open for only about six hours.

Swelling resulting from a broken nose can take two to three weeks to subside. If you see a rhinoplasty surgeon within two weeks of the injury, you will probably be asked to wait until the swelling has subsided.

Because fractures can take weeks to heal, seeing a rhinoplasty surgeon, even two weeks on, is a better choice than waiting a few months. A mild fracture may be repaired without surgery, but a revision procedure called a rhinoseptoplasty could be needed to deal with any remaining abnormalities. At this time, when swelling has subsided, severe fractures need to be operated on.

A surgeon treating a broken nose four to six weeks after injury has to deal with the scar tissue and fibrous cartilage that develops around the injury. Your rhinoplasty surgeon will schedule surgery as appropriate.

The longer you delay treating a broken nose, the more complicated, time-consuming and costly the repair will become. So don’t wait. See a surgeon straight away.