How do I Treat a Broken Nose?

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  • Written By: M.R. Anglin
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 08 September 2019
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A broken nose can occur because of different types of trauma. For example, a person who gets punched or who has been in an accident can suffer such a fracture. In order to treat a broken nose, a person may have to visit the doctor. For severe breaks, surgery may be needed while less severe injuries may only need a procedure called a closed reduction to correct the problem. The administration of an ice pack and taking pain medications may also be helpful in treating the broken nose.

When a nose gets broken, it is usually the bone over the nose bridge that is fractured. Sometimes, the nasal septum, the area of cartilage and bone that separates the nose into two parts, may also be affected. Symptoms of a broken nose can include pain, swelling, and bruising. In some cases, a person may also have trouble breathing. The type of treatment used to care for a broken nose depends on the severity of the break.


If a person believes he has a broken nose, there are some self-care procedures he should follow. As soon as the break occurs, he should apply ice. Over-the-counter medications can also be taken in order to reduce pain, and the head should be kept raised. When taking pain medications, a person should not take any aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicines until two days have passed since the break. In addition, he should visit his doctor within a week of the fracture — sooner if pain persists or if there are symptoms including numerous nosebleeds, fever, trouble breathing, or if the nose looks crooked.

In cases of a severely broken nose, multiple fractures, or when bones have come out of alignment, a doctor may have to perform a rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty is the procedure of opening the nose and realigning the bones and cartilage. Often, this surgery is very exact, and only a small misplacement of the structures can cause the nose to look crooked. If the nasal septum needs correcting, the surgery is called a septorhinoplasty. In this case, a surgeon will seek to correct both the nose and the nasal septum.

Another treatment that can be used for some instances of a broken nose may can include closed reduction. With closed reduction, a doctor uses a tool to hold open the patient’s nose. He can then use other tools to put the bones and cartilage back into place. This procedure does not usually require an incision and often has to be undertaken within two weeks of the break. If more time has passed, the doctor may have to perform surgery to try and correct the fracture.


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Post 2

@raynbow- You sure could have broken your nose and not even known about it, especially since you didn't go to see your doctor after you got hurt. Sometimes it is hard to tell if your nose is broken, because the symptoms can resolve fairly quickly.

When I was a kid I fell on my nose, and like you, did not see a doctor. As an adult, I had to have a surgery to straighten my septum because it was so crooked that I could only breathe out of one side of my nose. My doctor said that more than likely, I had broken my nose but that the results took awhile to cause me any noticeable issues.

My advice to you is to go see your doctor as soon as possible. He or she will be able to diagnose your issues, and come up with a good treatment plan to help you breathe freely again.

Post 1

Is it always easy to tell if you have a broken nose following an injury? I got a pretty nasty bump on the nose playing softball about a year ago, but I didn't go to the doctor. I used cold compresses and felt better after a day or so.

The problem that I am now facing is that I am experiencing a stuffy nose almost daily. This problem didn't seem to occur right after the injury, but now I'm wondering if my nose was broken at the time and that my septum has been affected. Does anyone have any thoughts about my situation?

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