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Fractured Nose

What is a fractured nose?

A fractured nose is a break in the nasal bone or in the side walls. A nasal fracture occurs along with other facial fractures. Fracture of the nasal cartilage may lead to bleeding within the nose, which on accumulation can cause nasal blockage.

Nasal fractures occur either by side impact or head-on impact during trauma. In case of side trauma, the nose is shifted away from the centre. In head-on trauma, the nasal bones are pushed up and spread apart, so that the bridge appears broad.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

Symptoms of nasal fracture include:

What are the main causes?

Nasal bones and cartilage are most susceptible to fractures due to their prominent position in the face.

Nasal fracture is usually a result of trauma, most commonly from:

  • Fights, accidents and sports
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falling on the nose

Nasal fractures can cause complications like:

  • Cosmetic deformity of the face
  • Persistent nasal septal deformity
  • Leaking of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
  • Swelling around the eye
  • Blockage of nose

How is it diagnosed and treated?

On noticing symptoms of nasal fracture, you should immediately consult your doctor. The doctor will conduct a complete internal and external nasal examination. This examination may be painful. The doctor may then order x-rays to confirm the location and extent of fracture. In case of severe fracture, a CT scan may be needed.

Until you receive medical attention, apply cold compresses for 15 minutes at a time and repeat it every 1-2 hours. Pain can usually be controlled by over-the-counter medications. Depending on the severity of the case, an open or closed reduction may be indicated. Left untreated, nasal fractures can lead to loss of structural integrity and result in visible deformities and breathing issues.

  1. Medicines for Fractured Nose

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References

  1. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Nose fracture
  2. British Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. Nasal Fracture. Royal College of Surgeons of England. [internet].
  3. Otolaryngology Online Journal. Fracture Nasal Bones. An International Journal of Medical Sciences. [internet].
  4. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Nasal fracture: aftercare
  5. Health Link. Broken Nose (Nasal Fracture). British Columbia. [internet].
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