What Is a Nasal Fracture?

A nasal fracture is the same as a broken nose, and it’s just what it sounds like — a break or crack in a bone in your nose, often one of the two bones that form your nose’s bridge. Less often, it might be referred to as a fractured nose.

What Are Some Signs of a Broken Nose?

Common broken nose symptoms include:

  • A nose that’s painful to the touch
  • Swelling of the nose
  • Bleeding from the nose

If a nose injury results in difficulty breathing, unstoppable bleeding, and a noticeable change in the shape of your nose, you probably have a nasal fracture and should seek immediate medical attention.

What Are Some Common Causes of a Broken Nose?

Common causes of a broken nose include contact with a fixed or heavy object such as a door or wall, contact sports such as hockey and basketball, and traffic accidents.

How Is a Nasal Fracture Diagnosed?

A quick, simple physical exam is usually sufficient to determine if you have a broken nose. Your doctor will press on the sides of your nose and inspect the inside of your nostrils. This is sometimes preceded by a topical anesthetic to minimize the pain. Imaging is usually not needed, but if your injury makes a physical exam too painful, a CT scan might be necessary.

How Is a Nasal Fracture Treated?

If you have a broken nose, treatment will depend on the severity. A minor fracture — one that hasn’t changed your nose’s shape — might not need medical intervention. It may well heal on its own.

For larger breaks, your doctor will need to manually realign your nose. After being injected with anesthesia, your doctor will insert a nasal speculum into your nostrils and, using special instruments, put your broken bones and cartilage back in place. A splint will be attached to ensure proper healing. For severe breaks, surgery might be required.

Call ENT Physicians and Surgeons at (603) 669-0831 for more information or to schedule an appointment.