Can a Broken Nose Be Reset Years After Being Broken?

Nose was broken in the late 90s. Can it be reset by a ENT doctor now?

Doctor Answers 28

Nose can be reset years after injury

Yes, a nose reset years after an injury and can be done through rhinoplasty, specifically an open reduction of the nasal fracture. If it has caused breathing issues with the nose, surgery may be covered under the patient’s medical insurance if determined a medical necessity. A qualified ENT facial plastic surgeon that has performed many of these would be your best option.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Timing of rhinoplasty for the broken nose

Typically, we try to reset the bones before they've healed. After that, the surgery essentially becomes a rhinoplasty. The specific maneuvers needed will depend on the individual nose. This may include a combination of breaking/resetting the bones and camouflage techniques (using grafts, etc).

Best of luck to you.

Sam Most, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Resetting broken nose after many years

A nose cannot be "reset", but it can be realigned with an osteotomy. Every alteration in the nose affects other elements. For example, an osteotomy alone might cause worsening of the breathing if it is not specifically addressed.

For the best result, the nose as a whole should be evaluate, the breathing maximized, and the appearance made the best possible.

This is not just a reconstructive procedure like removing a mole. It is an aesthetic procedure and a functional one that requires very careful assessment before the surgery and a plan that maximizes all the elements above.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews


Yes. In a recently broken nose the bones can be manually repositioned. If the bones have healed, then they simply need to be re-broken - osteoomies must be performed to recreate the fracture, and then the bones may be repositioned. An ENT doctor who does not perform rhinoplasty may not be comfortable doing this, but a surgeon who performs frequent rhinoplasty would generally find this to be a minor procedure.

Daniel G. Becker, MD
Voorhees Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Resetting a Broken Nose

So when you break your nose you have a small window of about 10 days to do a closed reduction which basically means gently shift the bones back into position.  If you miss that window then you need to wait till they heal and then the bones need to be refractured and repositioned.  This is what you need and it can be done at anytime after a fracture once the bones are healed.

Rady Rahban, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Resetting a Broken Nose

If your nose was broken about 20 years ago the bones have already healed in their current position.  The bones can be re-set, but they must be re-fractured with a procedure called an osteotomy. This will help to straighten the nasal bones. This is often done as part of a Rhinoplasty surgery. Visit with a rhinoplasty surgery specialist in order to see if you are a good candidate for this. 

Jacob D. Steiger, MD
Boca Raton Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Old broken nose

When the nasal bones initially break from injury, there is about a 2 week window where they are easily mobile and can be pushed back into position without any incisions.  After this period, the bones are re-fused and repair requires "re-breaking" them.  This process is accomplished with osteotomies and entails rhinoplasty surgery.  If you are unhappy with the altered shape of you nose from an old injury, it is probably best to consult with a rhinoplasty specialist.

Sirius K. Yoo, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Rhinoplasty - Years Later

The duration of your broken nose is not a determining factor on whether or not a rhinoplasty can be performed. Many patients wrongfully assume that there is a set time period during which time a nose job will be most effective, but this is untrue. Because the nasal bones can become re-fused in a way that results in difficulty breathing or crookedness, a nose job can be very beneficial. A qualified plastic surgeon can perform a rhinoplasty on a broken nose no matter how long ago the trauma was experienced. 

Sam Rizk, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Fixing Your Nose After Breaking It Many Years Ago

Yes, it is possible to fix your nose so many years after it was broken. Many patients have had great success correcting nose trauma even decades after the experience. Best of luck!

Yes Nose Can Be Splinted Years After Being Broken

It’s not unusual for patients with post traumatic nasal deformities to present for consultation years after their original nasal fracture. Under these circumstances, nasal fractures are managed very differently than they are immediately following nasal injuries. Immediately after nasal injuries, nasal fractures are treated with a procedure known as a closed nasal reduction. At this point, the bones are still freely moveable. This procedure relocates or resets the nasal bones in proper position. They are then held in this position with a nasal splint.

                  When patients present years after an injury the bones have usually healed in an abnormal position. Under these circumstances closed reduction won’t work and rhinoplasty surgery is usually necessary.

                  At this point, a careful analysis needs to be undertaken to evaluate both aesthetic and functional issues. It’s important to make sure that breathing isn’t compromised by a deviated nasal septum. It’s also important to understand the patient’s aesthetic goals.

                  Rhinoplasty surgery can dramatically impact appearance. The procedure is designed to address the patient’s aesthetic goals and unique anatomic findings following nasal trauma. In most cases the procedure corrects post traumatic dorsal humps and increased nasal width. In many cases it also straightens the nasal septum and nose.

                  In patients with post traumatic nasal deformities with associated functional impairment, consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is appropriate. It’s never too late to correct these types of deformities, especially if they’re associated with functional impairment. 

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.