Sinuses

Nasal Fractures

A broken nose or nasal fracture is all too commonly a source not only of severe pain but also a causal factor in creating difficulty breathing as well. Improper healing can lead to irregularities in the structure and appearance of one's nose, even resulting in a crooked nose. Have you experienced a nasal fracture or broken nose? Please schedule your personal nasal fracture consultation with Dr. Palmer, Dr. Strabbing, Dr.Manion, or Dr. Stubbs at the Michigan ENT & Allergy Specialists.

WHAT IS A NASAL FRACTURE?

When the bony part of your nose is impacted in such a way that it becomes cracked or broken, the resulting condition is known as a nasal fracture, or broken nose, which happens to be the single most common occurrence of facial fracture. If you have experienced a nasal fracture, then any of the bony structures of your nose can require treatment, including your septum as well as the cartilage in the very tip of your nose.

The results of a nasal fracture can include both functional and cosmetic problems, and since your nose is the visual focus of your face, a nasal fracture can undermine the aesthetics of your appearance often in a negative way. Nasal fractures can also cause chronic nosebleeds, breathing difficulties and can even lead to sinus infections, and as a result, it is important to seek professional treatment immediately after experiencing a nasal fracture. As treatment should be immediate, nasal fractures are typically repaired in the weeks subsequent to your fracture occurring, and as it's medically necessary, any surgical intervention required is almost always covered by your health insurance.

TYPES OF NOSE FRACTURES

Most nasal fractures affect the septum. Your nasal tip and various bone structures can also be fractured, although this happens less frequently.

COMMON CAUSES OF NASAL FRACTURES

Not surprisingly, the cause of most nasal fractures is a traumatic impact, such as from car accidents or sports-related events, including boxing, hockey, and basketball. These are all very common causes of a broken nose.

SYMPTOMS OF A BROKEN NOSE

When a traumatic impact has affected your nose, among the most common indications of a fractured nose include your nose is leaning to one side, that there is bleeding and swelling, or that dark bruises have appeared, especially under your eyes. You may also experience discomfort or pain, as well as a snapping or crunching sound when you touch your nose, in addition to having difficulty breathing through your nose.

WHEN IS NOSE SURGERY REQUIRED?

If you're experiencing problems with breathing or if your nose appears to be crooked, then surgical intervention may be necessary, and in the best case scenario the repair should ideally happen within 10 days of your fracture for optimal healing and to best preserve your appearance. Unfortunately, many individuals who break their nose delay and procrastinate and don't seek help quickly enough. If your nose doesn't heal properly, then breathing and sleeping problems can result, which can cause the septum to deviate, leading to genuine cosmetic concerns. These problems can all require surgical intervention. Prior to surgical repairs being made, it's necessary that any swelling from the initial injury must go down, and we usually will delay surgery by several weeks to improve the chances for an optimal outcome.

FIXING A BROKEN NOSE

If you have a nasal fracture, it can be the result of a single break or it can be due to a series of breaks, and as a result, the process for fixing your nasal fracture really depends on the specific type of injury as well as the location involved. In healing your nasal fracture, we can either restore your previous appearance or he can make alterations to the aesthetics of your nose when he corrects your broken nose. Our choice of surgical technique depends on you. His approach will be determined by the location of your fracture as well as your concerns and desires for your appearance.

Most broken noses include a break in your septum, and you really need to get treatment within 10 days of your injury. Sometimes a 'closed' surgical technique may be used. This technique utilizes incisions that are made inside of your nose. If you delay treatment, you then may need to wait for as long as three months before a rhinoplasty, septoplasty or a combined procedure can be undertaken. In addition, there is often the possibility that you will require a cartilage graft to achieve the results you desire.

A fracture involving your nasal tip is yet another type of broken nose, which, while less common, can still be surgically corrected by Dr. Palmer, Dr. Manion,  Dr. Strabbing, and Dr. Stubbs. If you observe a deformity after some sort of injury, then your cartilage may be displaced, or you have broken the septum. In the case of these types of injuries, you may benefit from a 'tip-plasty' to improve the appearance or to restore your nose back to its previous form.

RECOVERY FROM RECONSTRUCTIVE NOSE SURGERY

Each patient is different in terms of how they respond to surgery, although, in general, most everyone experiences a certain amount of swelling and puffiness. Cold compresses and an herbal concoction known as Arnica Montana can be combined to reduce symptoms of swelling. Traditional pain relief medications may be used to alleviate any discomfort. Typically, it can take approximately two weeks for your puffiness and bruising to subside, and during your healing period, it's important that you elevate your head and avoid any strenuous activities. Within a month, your results should be very close to your final outcome, although it can take as much as a year before you see your permanent results. It is possible that you can experience some bruising that will give you the appearance of a black eye, and you may also experience symptoms of nausea as well, but the symptoms tend to go down quickly and typically they are not too severe. After your surgery, you cannot engage in contact sports, and you'll also need to be sure to sleep on your back for the initial several weeks after your procedure. Most patients can return to their jobs within 10 days.

WILL INSURANCE PAY FOR THE TREATMENT OF A NASAL FRACTURE?

Because it is deemed medically necessary, your insurance often covers your cost for a broken nose, especially one that causes cosmetic deformity or if it causes breathing issues. Insurance usually covers both 'closed' surgical intervention and delayed procedures that may be more extensive.

When it comes diagnosing and treating your nasal fracture, you can depend on the expertise of Michigan ENT & Allergy Specialists bring the level of world-class training and professional skill necessary to restore both the aesthetics and functionality of your nose following a fracture. If you reside in or around Holland, Jennison, Grand Haven, South Haven, Grand Rapids or any of the neighboring communities, please contact us to get the expert help you need for the proper treatment of a nasal fracture.

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