A nasal fracture does not only cause physical pain but it can also have a strong psychological and emotional impact by modifying the appearance of your nose. Nose fractures account for more than 40% of all facial traumas. It is extremely important to understand the healing process and options for treatment no matter what the cause of the nasal fracture is. This article depicts the key things that every person should know about this type of fracture.
1. What is a nose fracture?
A nasal fracture is commonly referred to as a broken nose. From a medical standpoint, our noses are composed of several bones. One of these bones can be fractured during a facial trauma. There are various causes of nasal fractures but the most common ones include sports injuries, falls and car accidents. In order to determine whether you have a nasal fracture, we have prepared a list of the most common symptoms, which are as follows:
• Change of the shape of your nose
2. How to diagnose a nasal fracture?
In the vast majority of cases, nose fractures are diagnosed with the use of an radiograph image, which is also known as an X-ray or a CT scan. However, board-certified plastic surgeonsadd that nasal fractures are better diagnosed wvia physical examination. You need to keep in mind that the initial injury to your nose might cause the septum to shift independent of the nasal bone. Therefore, you might be having a nasal septum fracture or deviation either with or without a nose bone fracture.
3. When is the best time to fix a nose fracture?
A lot of people think that nasal fractures are normally repaired on the day of trauma. However, that is not true. Nasal fractures are not normally repaired on the day of injury because of the significant swelling that occurs. A nose fracture treatment, which is also known as a closed reduction nasal fracture surgery, can be performed once swelling has decreased. In most cases, a closed reduction surgery is done within 10 to 14 days following the facial injury. During this period of time, the bones can be still easily manipulated. You need to be aware of the fact that if you leave your nasal fracture untreated, you will need rhinoplasty repair in a delayed fashion.
4. Who is a good candidate for a nose fracture repair?
Some people have a misconception that a nasal fracture alone is enough for nasal fracture treatment. Although, the best candidates for this type of treatment are patients with:
• Nasal obstruction as a result of the nasal fracture injury
• Cosmetic nasal change from the nasal fracture trauma
In order to have a nasal repair surgery, you need to meet one or both of the aforementioned criteria. If none of those criteria are met, the nose can simply be observed in most instances.
5. How to prepare for a nose fracture repair surgery?
Once your surgeon has recommended you to undergo a closed reduction nasal fracture surgery, you need to go through a preparation phase before the surgery takes place. This stage includes several steps and they are as follows:
• Avoid supplements and medications that might thin your blood including: NSAIDs, aspiring, vitamin E and warfarin
• Make sure you arrange someone to drive you home after the surgery if you receive a sedative medication during the surgery
• Do not eat after midnight the night before the closed reduction nasal fracture surgery
6. What to expect on the day of the surgery?
You will meet an anesthesiologist to review your medical history before receiving anesthesia. A closed reduction nasal fracture surgery involves either deep sedation anesthesia or general anesthesia. The type of anesthesia used depends on the complexity of the procedure and your individual medical history. For the purpose of reducing risk of infections, you will be given anantibiotic, either oral or intravenous. Once you have received anesthesia and antibiotic, your surgeon will start the surgery. This type of surgery generally takes between 30 to 60 minutes.
7. What is the recovery from a nose fracture surgery?
Once a closed reduction nasal fracture surgery is completed, a cast will be placed externally on the nose. It will be removed in the office one week following the surgery. In addition to that, internal packing might be also placed inside your nose for the purpose of stabilizing the nasal structures. This packing will dissolve on its own. Keep in mind that swelling and bruising are common after this type of surgery and it might take up to 2 weeks to resolve. In order to prevent nosebleed, you should take the following steps:
• Sneeze with your mouth open
• Keep your head of the bed elevated at least 30 degrees
• Avoid heavy lifting
• Avoid blowing your nose
8. What are the risks and complications of a nose bone fracture repair surgery?
Just like any other surgical intervention, a closed reduction nasal fracture surgery carries a certain degree of risk and there are several complications that can occur. Some of these risks and complications are mentioned below:
• Saddle nose deformity
• Instability of nasal structures / incomplete repair
• Need for revision surgery
9. What are the contraindications for a nose fracture repair surgery?
It might be also the case that you may not be a good candidate for a closed reduction nasal fracture surgery. There are several potential contraindications for a nose bone fracture surgery and they are as follows:
• Poorly controlled diabetes
• Sever liver, kidney or cardiac disease (unless cleared by a specialist)