by Rick Alan
A nose fracture is a break in the bones of the nose.
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A broken nose 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 break. 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 breaks 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 medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen 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:
If you are diagnosed with a nose fracture, follow your doctor's instructions.
Broken noses may not always be preventable. To reduce your chance of getting of a broken nose, take these steps:
American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery
American Academy of Family Physicians
Canadian Family Physician
The Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons
Fractures of the nose. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy website. Available at: http://www.merckma... . Updated March 2013. Accessed August 27, 2013.
Nasal fractures. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/Nasal-Fractures.cfm . Accessed August 27, 2013.
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.
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Last reviewed September 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 9/30/2013