Can Broken Nose Get Back to Its Prior Shape Without Surgical Intervention?

I broke my nose 2 weeks ago. The x-rays showed that I slighlty broke it. The ENT told me there is no deviation, and that it should heal for itself, that I have to wait a month to see if there will be eventually a bump so he will shave it. I am so frustrated because I had a beautiful straight nose before and my question is there anyway I can have it back without any surgical intervention, knowing that the bones are perfectly aligned and that the fracture is not that bad?

Doctor Answers 1

Treatment of a Broken Nose


Sorry to hear about your recent injury. It sounds like the treatment plan proposed by your physician is quite appropriate. There are essentially three options for treatment following a broken nose:

1) Allow the bones to heal without any intervention. This is perfectly appropriate if the nasal bones are not deviated and there is no change in your ability to breathe. The nasal bones can be treated in this way as they are not weight-bearing bones like the bones of the arms or legs, for example. The patient should apply ice to the nose for the first 48-72 hours following the injury and keep his/her head elevated, even while sleeping.

2) Perform a closed reduction. If the nasal bones are deviated and the patient is treated within 2-3 weeks of the injury, this can be an option. Closed reduction of a nasal bone fracture involves pushing the nasal bones back into position. This should be performed by a surgeon well-trained in nasal surgery, such as a facial plastic surgeon, plastic surgeon, or otolaryngologist (ENT). The procedure typically takes less than 30 minutes and can be performed under sedation. A splint is applied following the procedure and left on the nose for 6-7 days.

3) Wait until the nasal bones have healed and the swelling has minimized (~8 weeks following the fracture) and then consider a formal rhinoplasty if the nasal bones are deviated. The advantage of rhinoplasty is that it allows the surgeon to carefully and precisely refracture the nasal bones in a more controlled fashion using osteotomies. If your septum is deviated and you have difficulty breathing, a septoplasty can be performed at the same time. The procedure can be performed using an open or endonasal (closed) technique and a splint is again applied for 6-7 days. Patients typically return to work around 10-12 days following the surgery and the recovery period is not bad at all for most individuals. Rhinoplasty is generally considered to be the most challenging plastic surgery procedure and should be performed by a specialist who is experienced in this type of surgery.

I hope this is helpful. Best of luck to you.

Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
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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.