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My Friend Moved His Foot and It Accidentally Hit Me, How Can I Know if my Nose if Broken?

My friend was sitting and he moved his foot quickly and accidentally whacked me across the face- my nose didn't bleed immediately afterward and it's been a few minutes and it hasn't started but my nose is swollen, mostly the left side. How can I tell if it's broken?

Doctor Answers (12)

How to Determine Broken Nose

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   A broken nose is best determined by physical exam by a plastic surgeon and imaging if necessary.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA   


Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 203 reviews

Trauma to the nose

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Hello, and sorry to hear about your accident. The best way to determine if your trauma caused an issue is to have an exam by a board certified specialist. I would recommend seeking the advice of a board certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty or an otolaryngologist. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck. 

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

I got whacked in the nose! Is it broken?

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The nose is often on the receiving end of a blow, fall, whack, punch and other unexpected traumas.  And the nose bones are the most frequently broken bones on the body. Ouch!   There is usually pain, sometimes epistaxis (bleeding), swelling and sometimes problems with breathing and disfigurement when the trauma is severe. We recommend ice, elevation, rest and assuming there is not continuous bleeding or other severe symptoms, to let a qualified nasal surgery trained surgeon evaluate your nose once the swelling has subsided. If there is nasal airway obstruction (more difficulty in breathing) and/or an obviously displaced nose (looks different), then a fracture is likely present. This may require surgery. Discussing this with a board certified facial plastic surgeon, otolaryngologist, or plastic surgeon will be the next step. 

Donn R. Chatham, MD
Louisville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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Is My Nose Broken

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The best way to determine if you've broken your nose is to be examined by a nasal specialist. You want to be sure that you do not have a septal hematoma (collection of blood) that could destroy some of your cartilage.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
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Assessment of a nasal fracture can be difficult

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If the nose is not obviously twisted, it may be hard to tell if the nose is broken.  The good news is that even if there is a small crack as long as the nose is not twisted it will most likely heal with no significant change in shape.

Robert Mounsey, MD
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Foot Versus Nose and Possible Nose Fracture

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I would recommend you get evaluated by a board certified facial plastic surgeon. Swelling is not a very specific finding in terms of determining if a fracture of the nose occurred. Wishing you the best of luck.

John M. Hilinski, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Nasal fracture?

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The best way to assess your nose is to go for an exam with a palstic surgeon.  X-rays may help but a physical exam will tell you if you need to do anything about it.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Fortunately it doesn't sound like you have a broken nose

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Given the history that you've provided its possible but unlikely that you have a nasal fracture. If you're concern that the shape of your nose has changed of if your nasal bridge is very tender, I would recommend seeking a consultation with a facial plastic surgeon to rule out a nasal fracture. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

My Friend Moved His Foot and It Accidentally Hit Me, How Can I Know if my Nose if Broken?

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 In my experience unless you have significant pain, can see a shift in the shape of the nose or have significant bleeding the amount of contact would not be enough to break or shift the nasal bones and cartilage.  You should always, however, contact your Rhinoplasty Surgeon and report the event and perhaps be seen for a thorough nasal exam to make sure all is OK.  

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

How Can I Know if my Nose if Broken?

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Consult a plastic surgeon or a othorino, they will tell radiological studies were is possible see the bones of your nose. 

Maria Cristina Picon, MD
Argentina Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.