Approximately 40 percent of facial injuries in adults, teenagers or children involve the nose. Trauma or pressure injuries that lead to broken bones in the nose of younger children are relatively rare because the nasal region has extremely soft cartilage that does not completely harden until someone is in their late teens. Other types of nose injuries can occur to children such as cuts, burns or bruising. Because the interior of the nasal passages have many capillaries under thin skin tissue, a bump on the outside of the nose or hard fall can lead to extensive bleeding. Occasionally, the interior nasal region begins to bleed due to a foreign object such as a pencil entering the area.
Types of Injuries to the Nose
When individuals hear about someone having nose surgery from a cosmetic or plastic surgeon, the assumption is that it is an elective procedure to improve or change the appearance of the nose. However, a surgical procedure on the nose is often required to make a repair due to an accident. For teenagers or adults, the most common reason for surgery is to stabilize a fractured bone to encourage proper healing. There are several ways a nose can be accidentally broken, including:
- Falls – common for elderly individuals who lose their balance easily
- Vehicle accidents – occurs to a wide range of age groups
- Fighting – commonly happens in volatile places such as prisons or schools
- Sports injuries – occurs most often to teenagers involved in contact sports
Emergency Treatment is Necessary
The symptoms of a broken nose are generally easy to notice. They include: massive bleeding, acute pain, and difficulty breathing. Trauma to the nose may occur deep inside the nasal passages where tissue begins to swell quickly and blood clots form. Because the nose is a vital part of a person’s airway, fast treatment in an emergency room is often required to avoid fainting. Serious nose injuries can cause swelling inside the head, around the eyes, and in the throat, leading to patients needing assistance with breathing. Patients need medical imaging tests to determine the exact damage to bones inside the nose in order to allow surgeons to perform repairs. Nose injuries are sorted by type:
- Type One – simple fracture to the nasal bone
- Type Two – nasal septum damage
- Type Three – multiple bones in the nose are broken
Treatment for a Broken Nose
A small crack in the bridge bone of the nose may not require a surgical procedure if it is possible to stabilized it with a splint, bandages, and packing material. Patients are instructed not to wear eyeglasses or blow their noses for several days or weeks as this type of fracture heals. However, extensive trauma requires nose surgery from a specialist who knows how to repair the damage in order to maintain a proper airway along with creating an aesthetically pleasing nose. Rhinoplasty or nose surgery is often performed by maxillofacial specialists or otolaryngologists in addition to cosmetic or plastic surgeons.