A broken nose, also known as a nasal fracture, can drastically alter one’s appearance. It can also have negative effects on breathing and smelling. In some instances, a broken nose may lead to chronic nosebleeds and sinus infections. Repairing a broken nose or a poorly healed nasal fracture can improve one’s facial symmetry and ability to breathe. Regardless of the nature of your specific injury, Dr. Rizk is able to help nasal fracture patients achieve improvement in both physical appearance and structural function.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important factors relating to broken noses and the procedures used to treat them.

 

Issues Commonly Associated with Nasal Fractures

Nosebleeds

Epistaxis, commonly known as a nosebleed, is a common sign of nasal fracture. After a facial injury, increased incidences of prolonged nosebleeds may be a sign that you have a broken nose. Months after an injury, frequent nosebleeds may be a sign that a fracture has healed improperly. Poorly healed fractures may result in an undesired physical appearance, impaired breathing, and frequent sinus infections.

Cartilage Collapses in the Nose

One possible complication in the healing process of a nasal fracture is cartilage collapse. Cartilage is the flexible connecting tissue in the nose. A large percentage of the nose’s internal structures, specifically the middle and lower portions, are composed of cartilage. Following a nose injury, the structural support of the nose cartilage may fail, and the nose will appear to be dented or “sunken in.” Cartilage collapse will also impair breathing by narrowing or blocking the nasal passages. Dr. Rizk is able to reverse cartilage collapse and reconstruct the nasal cartilage to facilitate proper breathing and physical appearance via a rhinoplasty surgical procedure.

Bony Crookedness

When a nose is broken, the bones may shift during the initial trauma, or they may heal improperly, creating a “crooked” or “bent” appearance. This will affect both facial symmetry and nasal function. If you have bony crookedness due to a previous nasal fracture, Dr. Rizk can help you. In many cases, an osteotomy, or controlled break of a bone, can be used to fix a crooked nose. Another method used to fix bony crookedness is with grafts.

 

Evaluating & Repairing Nasal Fractures

Airway Evaluation and Correction

If you have a broken nose, your septum has likely been damaged and may no longer be straight. It may have become twisted during the initial injury or in the healing process. Dr. Rizk is able to reset crooked septums. This is important not only for your appearance but also for easy, clear breathing. During a consultation, the airway will be evaluated by both a physical examination and the use of 3D imaging technology.

When to Treat a Nasal Fracture

If you have sustained a nasal fracture as a result of trauma, you may need immediate medical treatment, or you may be able to perform first aid at home and see a doctor at your convenience. Many fractures can be treated easily if attended to in the first ten days after an injury. Often, even after a fracture has healed, the nose may have an altered appearance. In addition, air-flow through the nostrils may be inhibited, causing difficulty in respiration. These are common complaints among fracture patients. The good news is that these symptoms can be addressed through various treatments at Dr. Rizk’s practice.

How to Treat a Nasal Fracture

There are several techniques that may be used to fix a nasal fracture. Dr. Rizk decides which method to use on a case-by-case basis. Which technique is applied depends on the nature of the fracture and on other factors unique to the patient and injury.

If you consult with Dr. Rizk within the first 10 days following your injury, he may be able to reset the nose properly without the need for surgery. However, if it has been longer, then you may require surgery.  Common procedures include septoplasty (septum repair), rhinoplasty (nose surgery), or a septorhinoplasty (a combination of the two). Often when a patient has bruising and swelling of the nose, Dr. Rizk will wait for a few weeks or months before performing a surgical procedure.

 

 

Treatment of Nasal Septum Deviations as a Result of Nasal Fracture

A common result of a nasal fracture is a condition called deviated septum. The nasal septum is the nasal structure that separates the left and right airways in the nose, dividing the two nostrils. A healthy, properly aligned septum ensures proper, easy breathing. When a septum is damaged by a nose injury such as nasal fracture, it can become misaligned or displaced. This is known as nasal septum deviation and may lead to sinus infections, sleep apnea, snoring, sneezing, facial pain, difficulty breathing, and loss of the ability to smell. A deviated septum can lead to poor health, less enjoyment of life, and an altered facial appearance. Luckily, all of these effects can be addressed by straightening the septum, through a form of nose surgery called septoplasty.

Use of Grafts to Straighten a Nose

One technique used in Dr. Rizk’s office to straighten a crooked nose is grafting. Grafts are commonly used to treat both crooked noses as well as depressions in the nose. Dr. Rizk typically uses cartilage grafts from the patient’s own septum or ear, but occasionally uses other types of grafts. It is sutured into position in the septum and is used to strengthen and support the nose, providing a straightening effect. This straightening effect will not only benefit a patient’s appearance but also will improve breathing.

 

Importance of a Good Cosmetic and Functional Outcome

A fractured nose or an improperly healed nasal fracture can negatively affect one’s appearance, and may also affect one’s breathing. A nasal fracture may lead to blocked nasal passages, thereby inhibiting the respiration process. The surgical correction of a broken nose can restore facial symmetry to pre-injury appearance. No matter what the patient’s unique circumstances, Dr. Rizk’s aim is always to restore nasal symmetry and normal nasal airway function.

 

Contact Dr. Rizk today to learn more about repairing a broken nose.