The most common type of facial fracture, a “broken nose” is one of the more common fractures in the human body. Swelling, nosebleeds, difficulty breathing and obvious nasal deformity are all possible signs of a fracture following nasal trauma.
Correction of a nasal fracture may be indicated if permanent deformity or breathing obstruction are likely to be the long-term result. “Closed reduction” involves “setting” the displaced nasal bones back in place. This is most commonly done under sedation or general anesthesia for the patient’s comfort. This procedure must typically be done within the first 7-10 days following injury before the bones begin to heal in an improper position.
If significant deviation of the nasal septum is present along with significant deformity to the nose, an ‘open reduction” may be the better choice for correction of the fracture. This is typically performed a minimum of 6 weeks after injury in order to allow for the swelling to resolve. This involves making incisions inside the nose or in the columella (between the nostrils) as is performed in a rhinoplasty. This allows for more thorough and precise correction of any external deviation or septal deviation in order to improve breathing.
If desired, cosmetic nasal reshaping, or rhinoplasty, may be performed at the same time as open reduction. In addition to correcting the deformity caused by the nasal injury, changes such as narrowing of the nasal tip or reducing a hump on the bridge of the nose may be performed at the same operative session.