Symptoms and causes

What is it?

A nose fracture is a break of the nose bones after trauma to the nose.

Symptoms

The following are symptoms of a nose fracture:

  • nosebleeds
  • pain
  • swelling
  • a bruise

After the nose swelling goes down, the nose may appear crooked. This is the case if a piece of bone is displaced.

If there is also an internal crookedness of the nasal septum, this can lead to nasal congestion. In rare cases, blood can collect in the nasal septum. This requires urgent treatment.

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosis

It is advisable to consult an ENT physician three to seven days after the trauma. Your physician will make the diagnosis by feeling along the bridge of your nose. A CT scan can always be performed to provide additional information (this gives more information than a simple X-ray image), but it is not strictly necessary.

Treatment

A displaced broken nose is clearly crooked and can give a poor aesthetic appearance. It should be treated wtih a nose reduction under short-acting anaesthesia. It is best to do this within the ten days after the trauma, since the nose will otherwise grow back in the displaced position. The displaced pieces of bone can be set back into their proper alignment.

In the case of a non-displaced broken nose, a wait-and-see approach may be taken. It usually heals after a couple of weeks.

There is no guarantee that the nose will look exactly like it did before. After the operation, you will wear a protective bandage on your nose for a few days.

Treatment centres and specialisations

Ear, nose, and throat diseases

Latest publication date: 28/06/2021
Supervising author: Dr Vermeiren Judith