Can Overly Wide Nose Bridge from Injury Be Thinned?

I broke my nose before and it healed wrongly. There is a lot of excess cartilage in the bridge now, making it wider. Also, the bone is a little off center. Can the cartilage be shaved or cut off and the bone straightened back into position? How would this procedure be done?

Doctor Answers 17

Trauma to your nose

There are very few things that a good rhinoplasty surgeon can not help you with. It is important to have your expectations in line with what changes to your nose you have discussed with your surgeon. Narrowing the bridge is a standard procedure in rhinoplasty but, only after a thorough physical examination by a qualified surgeon will you know how much narrowing to expect and what techniques will be necessary in order to accomplish this goal. Your prior trauma may make things a little more tricky depending upon the extent of the injury and resultant scarring.

Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Wide nose bridge can be thinned after injury

Thank you for your question. Yes it is quite common after a nasal injury to need a rhinoplasty to realign the bones, thin the nose, and remove any bumps or crooked irregularities in the nasal bones.

Can Nasal Bones be Thinned?

Your situation is actually quite common. The bridge can be reduced, the nasal bones repositioned and your overall appearance improved. Another issue you may have is a septal deviation which is a malposition of the bone and cartilage that separate the two nostrils. This can contribute to the deviation of the external nose as well. All this can be performed through several small incisions hiddent inside the nasal chamber. There are specialized instruments to  reduce the bridge and narrow the nasal bones. Overall you will probably  see a nice improvement in your nasal appearance. Best of Luck   - Dr Harrell

Jon F. Harrell, DO, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Rhinoplasty to narrow a wide nose bridge

Yes, the nasal bones can be narrowed but not thinned. Once a hump is removed the nasal bones themselves can be narrowed and straightened through both medial and lateral osteotomies to straighten and narrow the pyramid of the nose. This is also known as re-breaking the nasal bones. Both have to be straightened back into position since it took a lot of force to get them out of place. This is done through a rhinoplasty usually under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure, and takes about an hour to an hour-and-a-half to perform.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Post-Traumatic Nasal Deformity

The problems you describe are common after nasal trauma. Bone and cartilage can be repositioned or quantities altered with rhinoplasty surgery. A good rhinoplasty surgeon will evaluate your deformity and recommend alternative approaches depending on the physical findings and your desires.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Wide bridge


It is possible to perform osteotomies which will narrow your nasal bones and enable them to be straightened. Excess cartilage may be shaved down as well. I would really need to see photos to give you the best advice.

Thank you and best of luck.

Dr. Nassif

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Traumatic nasal deformity: correcting a broken nose or nasal fracture.

As stated by my colleagues, there are many techniques available for correction of traumatic nasal deformity.

However, it may not be realistic to expect a perfectly straight nose. In some instances the best result is obtained by using a camouflage graft to conceal the irregularity

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Trauma to the Nose

The injury described sounds like a combination fracture of the nasal bones and nasal septum. Trauma to the nasal bones can lead to new bone production, creating a widened hump on the top of the nose. The off-center portion of your nose sounds like a combination of nasal bones shifting and a fracture to the septum (interior middle nasal wall ) during your injury. These injuries can very likely be repaired with a septorhinoplasty which will address the internal factors (nasal septum) and thin the appearance of your external nose.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Rhinoplasty Surgery may narrow the bridge of your nose.

If your nose is wide and crooked after trauma, Rhinoplasty Surgery may be beneficial. You should consult a few board-certified, experienced Rhinoplasty specialists to get an idea of what's feasible. I always do computer imaging so you can have an idea of what to expect after your Rhinoplasty.

I've attached a link to my Rhinoplasty photos for your perusal.

I hope this is helpful for you.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 418 reviews


Hi Sean, In my opinion, it is best to repair your deformity through an open rhinoplasty approach. The open rhinoplasty approach allow the surgeon to visualize the bone and cartilage directly making it easier to fix bony and cartilagenous abnormalities. Most nasal fractures can be repaired to provide better breathing and improved appearance. Best, Dr.S

Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 272 reviews

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.