A nose fracture is a break in the bones of the nose.
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A nose fracture is caused by a blunt, hard blow to the nose. It often occurs along with injuries to other parts of the nose and face.
Factors that may increase your chance of a nose fracture include:
A nose fracture may cause:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and how the injury occurred, and will examine your nose and face for:
Although not necessary, imaging tests may be done to confirm the fracture, and check its location and serverity. They usually are not done until the inflammation goes down. Imaging tests may include:
Treatment depends on the severity of the fracture. If your nose is broken and in position, the only treatment you will need is home care. It is important to be careful to not bump your nose while it heals. More severe fractures may need realignment or surgery.
Ice helps reduce inflammation and pain. Apply an ice pack to your nose for 15-20 minutes at a time. Place a towel between the ice pack and your skin.
Prescription or over-the-counter medications may be given to help reduce inflammation and pain.
If it is determined that your nose is out of position, obstructing your breathing, or causing other problems your doctor may:
Surgery may be needed to set the fracture if:
American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
The Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Fractures of the nose. The Merck Manual Professional Edition website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries_poisoning/facial_trauma/fractures_of_the_nose.html. Updated March 2013. Accessed August 21, 2014.
Nasal fractures. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/content/nasal-fractures. Accessed August 21, 2014.
Ondik MP, Lipinski L, et al. The treatment of nasal fractures: a changing paradigm. Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2009;11(5):296-302.
Rosen P, Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, Adams J. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA; Mosby Elsevier; 2006.
Rother T, Riechelmann H, Gronau S. Secondarily accelerated foreign bodies as a source of danger from airbag deployment. HNO. 2006;54:967-970.
Last reviewed August 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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