How will my broken nose heal?
Nasal fractures unfortunately are quite common. Many are non-displaced and heal well within 4 to 6 weeks, without any ultimate change in nose appearance. Minor bony irregularities are usually not a problem, as many times they don't result in a change in appearance. The nose swells easily and often significantly in response to a fracture. If after 4 to 6 weeks you see no irregularities in the contour of your nose and you have no trouble breathing, surgery will not be required.
Surgery for a fractured nose
fairly common to fracture one’s nose. In that the broken piece of bone won’t be
visible, other symptoms will help determine if a fracture has in fact taken
place. Some patients complain of swelling,
breathing problems and congestion, as well as pain. The most worrying symptom is the congestion
which could come from persistent drainage from one or both nostrils. This may
be caused by cerebrospinal fluid draining from the brain into the nose (CSF
rhinorrhoea) and can occur after a head injury or after surgery on the nose or
ears. It is important to confirm your suspicions of a broken nose through a
physical exam and review of your medical history. An X-ray of the nose may be
done. The healing of the fracture depends on whether it is a displaced or
nondisplaced fracture. A true nasal fracture can be either displaced (fracture
is not in its normal alignment) or nondisplaced (there’s a fracture of crack in
the nasal bone but the bones have remained aligned with each other). Displaced fractures can be repositioned and
nondisplaced fractures can generally heal well on their own, providing no
further traumas move the nasal bones from alignment
Fractured nasal bone always heal by itself but this bone usually collapse as well, resulting in possible depression though rarely does it cause blockage of the nasal airway.
Nasal Fracture Healing Pattern
Nasal fractures are quite common. Many fractures go undiagnosed. A true nasal fracture can be either displaced or nondisplaced. A displaced fracture means that the fracture is not in its normal alignment. A displaced fracture will generally cause a nose to look different than prior to the trauma, depending on the degree of displacement. A nondisplaced fracture means that their is a fracture or crack in the nasal bone however the bones have remained in line with each other. Displaced fractures can be repositioned (typically within 2 weeks from the traumatic incident) if the degree of displacement is severe enough to change the appearance of the nose. Nondisplaced fractures can be observed and generally heal well on their own, providing no further traumas move the nasal bones from alignment. It is sometimes difficult to tell if a fracture is present or displaced based on appearance alone. This is why physical examination and/or a CT scan be helpful in the decision making process. When swelling resolves sometimes a fracture which was slightly depressed can look more apparent.