Article by Steven H. Dayan, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
Nasal bones are the most commonly fractured bones in the face. The nose, being the most projecting feature of the face, is the leading structure encountered in a traumatic event.
It is estimated there are on average, 51,200 nasal fractures per year in the United States. However, there probably exists a greater incidence, as many patients with nasal fractures do not seek treatment. Infant or childhood nasal trauma is notorious for being overlooked. Following nasal trauma, children are especially susceptible to internal injuries and its subsequent complications. The cartilages of the nose tend to buckle and twist, which can result in formation of a blood clot on the nasal septum.
The septum is made up of cartilage and bone. It provides structural support to the nose in addition to serving as a midline partition. The blood clot blocks the septum of its nutrients and the septum can become weakened, develop a hole and even collapse. This can occur in the absence of nasal bone fractures and also with minimal signs and symptoms of nasal trauma.
Unfortunately, nasal trauma is often unappreciated, eventually manifesting as external and internal nasal deformities. Internal structural changes can lead to voice changes, snoring and even a sensation of shortness of breath. By the time most people seek medical advice they have already suffered the consequences of a nasal fracture.
If you suffer from nasal blockage, a deviated nasal septum or a collapsed distorted appearing nose and can remember sustaining an injury to your nose, you may have suffered a nasal fracture. Through a variety of minor procedures you can enjoy the benefits of normal breathing again.
Inquire with your insurance company, as third party payers traditionally will reimburse the expenses for treatment of nasal injuries. There is no need to agonize unnecessarily from the effects of nasal injuries. Consult with a nasal physician.