How to Be Sure You Had a Broken Nose in the Past?

Hi, I had an accident when I was around 11 years old, I fell face flat on the ground from about 6 feet in the air. Although that seems harsh, I attempted to break the fall by landing on my arms. As a result, I broke my arm (minor). My arm is fine, but I think my nose was affected more. I have trouble breathing and I developed a bump on my nose. My family has normal noses, but mine grew abnormally. At 21, I am very self-conscious about it. It never bled, but is there a chance it was broken?

Doctor Answers 11

Did I break my nose?

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I hear this question frequently.  Crooked noses, noses with humps, and noses with airway problems are common with or without trauma.  In the case of severe trauma to the nose, the diagnosis will be obvious and in all likelihood it will make for a more complex reconstruction.  In a case such as yours, the trauma you sustained is probably not related to your current issues.  

What is relevant is the current condition of your nose.  Whether the trauma played a role in that probably will not matter.  The current condition of your nose will be appropriately determined by a qualified surgeon during an exam.  While a CAT scan or X-ray may shed some light on how your nose got that way, generally these tests only result in needless exposure to radiation and needless outlays of money.  In the vast majority of cases, a good rhinoplasty surgeon will be able to obtain all the information needed through exam and interview.

Austin Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Broken nose from childhood injury

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It sounds as though the septum and the nose could have been broken during the injury.  X-rays will not be of help at this time since it has been many years since the injury and any fracture lines will have disappeared.  A physical examination of both the internal and the external portion of the nose will document whether or not it has been fractured in the past.  Breathing is usually related to the fracture of the septum, also known as a deviated septum. The septum can be straightened and repaired during a septorhinoplasty procedure for both functional improvement and cosmetic purposes.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Finding out if broke your nose

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It'd be hard to find out for certain if you had broken your nose so long ago. It probably doesn't really matter whether your fall when you were 11 led to a nasal fracture and your current breathing problems.

To help with your problems you should visit with a facial plastic surgeon who can examine your nose and determine what is going on inside your nose and discuss with you what changes you'd like to make to your nasal appearance.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Delayed Treatment of Broken Nose?

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You can not ever really be sure. X-rays are not the best for finding old fractures. I am not sure it is that important to know. You don't like your nose and you want it fixed. The best thing is to find a board certified nasal surgeon who lives and breathes Rhinoplasty surgery. Make sure you form a trusting relationship and get along with the office staff because this is like a marriage. A good physical exam is all you need from your surgeon and you should be on your way.

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Delayed treatment of broken nose

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Dear Kamaljit

  • The term "broken nose" has different definitions,
  • But you describe a trauma to your nose and now are unhappy with the appearance.  
  • It won't affect the treatment to know if you had fractured the nasal bones at this poin.
  •  so consider a consultation to discuss your breathing problems and potential rhinoplasty. 
  • Best wishes

Travis T. Tollefson, MD, MPH
Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon

Broken nose in past

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It is very possible that you broke your nose. At this point getting x-rays or other studies may only be for your satisfaction. However, treating your bump and airway problem sounds reasonable.  Best for you to go for a consultation .  Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Broken Nose 10 Years Ago

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I'm sorry about your accident. Both function and appearance can be improved with surgery whether or not the nose was broken. See an experienced rhinoplasty specialist for an evaluation and discussion of treatment alternatives. I  need to see pictures before making any specific recommendations.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Broken nose?

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Based on your history there is a good chance your nose was broken at the time of your injury.  From a surgical standpoint, however, the approach to both the cosmetic as well as breathing issues would be the same.  If you had a nasal fracture your insurance may cover the surgery, or at least partially, but there is no way to prove it at this point.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Broken nose

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There are degrees of injuries/fractures. Sometimes it is not possible to tell if there was an actual break. But, from a treatment point of view the exam now is the most important. That can ascertain whether you have breathing obstruction . Go see a specialist.

Andrew Pichler, MD
Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon

Broken nose or not.

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Chances are that your nose was not broken since it did not bleed. Some noses just grow that way. Insurance will cover any breathing problem whether or not the nose was broken.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 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.