Nasal Fracture (so you think you broke your nose)

Hit your nose hard enough and you’ll break it. In adults, it’s usually pretty obvious (black eyes, bleeding, swelling, and pain). In kids, it’s often much harder to recognize. A child’s nose is almost all cartilage. Hit it hard enough, and you’ll break the cartilage, but not the bone. There may be no bleeding, bruising, swelling or black eyes. They’ll have pain that lasts for 30 minutes or so. But often, that is it.

  • There are two problems with a broken nose – how it looks, and how well it works. If you move the bones near the top of the nose it will look different than it did prior to the injury (crooked, wider or both). If you move the septum (the part on the inside of the nose that divides it into two halves) you’ll notice problems with breathing, drainage or headaches.
  • There are two options when you have broken your nose; fix it or leave it alone.
  • There are two reasons to have your broken nose fixed; if it looks different than it did prior to the injury, or if you are now having problems with breathing, drainage or headaches.
  • Fixing the nose includes straightening the septum on the inside to improve the breathing, drainage or headaches and/or straightening the bones on the outside to make it look like it did prior to your injury. You can do one, the other or both, depending on your symptoms.
  • Surgery can be done in the office with oral sedation or in a surgery center using general anesthesia. It takes about an hour to perform, almost never requires packing and typically causes little pain. It is almost always covered by your health insurance.