Broken Nose Surgery: Symptoms, Treatments & Recovery

Broken Nose Surgery: Symptoms, Treatments & Recovery

What is a broken nose?

A broken nose is a crack or fracture in the bones in the nose. Most nose fractures occur to the bridge due to vehicle accidents, sports injuries, fights, and other types of trauma. If you have a broken nose, you might have symptoms of swelling, bruising, and bleeding.

Do you have to have surgery for a broken nose?

The treatment depends on the severity of your condition. Simple fractures where the bones are not displaced don’t usually require surgery. However, more severe fractures often require broken nose surgery to realign the nose and cartilage. These types of fractures include multiple breaks or damage to the septum or inner portions of the nose. The damage to nasal bones often extends to the surrounding nasal cartilage, especially the nasal septum. The septum divides the right and left sides of the nose.

Several complications might occur related to the nasal fracture including:

  • Cartilage Fracture – If the nasal fracture is caused by a forceful blow, the cartilage might be fractured. Broken nose surgery might be necessary to address both bone and cartilage fractures.
  • Septal Hematoma – This condition is the pooling of clotted blood that forms in a broken nose. It can block one or both nostrils, requiring immediate surgery to provide relief.
  • Deviated Septum – When the fracture causes the septum to become displaced, it narrows the nasal passages. A deviated septum requires nasal surgery to correct the deformity.

Even though your broken nose might seem minor, it could require surgery or other treatments. Without a professional diagnosis, your nose might heal with a deformity. It’s important to have a qualified surgeon examine your nose and consider the extent of the damage.

If your nose is swollen, wait 48 to 72 hours for your GP doctor’s appointment. Apply ice to reduce the swelling to give the doctor better visibility of your nasal structures. The best time for the ENT specialist surgeon to examine your nose is about 7-10 days later once a lot of the swelling has subsided.

The type and extent of nose surgery needed depend on the location and extent of the damage. You might not require surgery if there is no displacement of the bones. Sometimes a surgical procedure called “closed reduction” can restore the shape of the nose.

Nasal breaks that displace the bones and cartilage can sometimes be manually realigned using closed reduction. Under general anaesthetic, the doctor uses special instruments to realign the broken bones and cartilage and return them to their natural position. This procedure is only recommended during the first 10 to 14 days after the injury.

How long does it take to recover from broken nose surgery?

Reduction surgery for a broken nose takes about 20 minutes and is usually completed in only one day. Afterward, you might wear a plaster cast on your nose for 7 to 8 days. Contact sports are not permitted for an additional 6 to 10 weeks. If the final position of the nose is unsatisfactory after this period, Dr. Shahidi might consider rhinoplasty in 6 to 12 months after the simple reduction.

What is surgery for a broken nose called?

Rhinoplasty” is broken nose surgery to realign bones and reshape the nose. “Septorhinoplasty” is broken nose surgery for the nose and septum where a deviated septum causes obstruction or difficulty breathing.

How do they fix a broken nose in surgery?

Patients receive anaesthesia prior to the surgery. To repair the broken nose, the doctor inserts slender instruments into each nostril to gently push the bones back into place. Severe fractures might require the doctor to make small incisions to access the broken bones more easily.

Dr. Shahidi specialises in open structure rhinoplasty, the most structurally comprehensive approach. This technique requires extensive grafting of the patient’s own cartilage which gives the nose strength and shape. This is a longer procedure that requires advanced training and provides greater ongoing patient satisfaction.

Dr. Shahidi has received the highest qualification awarded to Australian surgeons – FRACS (Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons). To learn more about Dr. Shahidi and what to expect from broken nose surgery, visit our FAQs page. Contact us today with any additional questions or to book a consultation.