Possible to Fix Stretched Septum?

I have many compulsive tics: one of them causes me to push my nose (septum) to the side with extreme pressure, sometimes holding it there. I have since managed to control this but not until about a year of doing it every day.

I might have stretched the septal cartilage, or broken or badly damaged it somehow. It definitely looks and feels very different, like it has been pushed to the side, malformed somehow. My septum is definitely not straight in many directions. What could I have done? Is it fixable?

Doctor Answers 17

Deviated septum can be fixed with septoplasty

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It sounds like you have a deviated septum. This particular problem can be addressed by a surgeon who is familiar with septoplasty.
The portion of the septum that you are referring to sounds like the "caudal" portion of the septum, and significant deviations of this portion of the septum can be a little tricky to repair. My bigger concern is whether or not a surgical procedure is going to restart your urge to manipulate your nose.
I would be certain that you are not going to have the urge to manipulate your nose prior to undertaking any surgical procedure on your septum or the surgical procedure will ultimately fail.

Septoplasty to straighten crooked nasal septum

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A deviated septum at the end of the nose is also known as a caudal septal deflection. These can be addressed by straightening and partial removal of that portion of the cartilage that is obstructing the airway. It is also important to have any compulsive habits addressed through psychiatric care so as not to continue to do so after this type of surgery. The septum is probably dislocated off the vomer and maxilla, and could potentially be fractured if it was pushed very hard.

Deviated Septum

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The real question is not what you "could have done", but what you should do now. I don't know if your tic truly caused a problem, but you should seek help to eliminate it. Just because you have a deviated septum does not mean you need surgery. Get a good evaluation of your nasal anatomy and function. Then you can determine if treatment is necessary.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Possible to correct septum surgically

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“Stretched septum” is not medical terminology and, probably not a true medical entity. If you have a deviated nasal septum with nasal airway obstruction, your septum can be corrected surgically. However, trauma to the nose must be completely avoided after nasal surgery. If your tics create nasal trauma, nasal surgery should be avoided until such time that your tics are controlled.

Deviated septum doesn't mean you need septoplasty

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It is very likely you the surgery required is a septoplasty. You would need to be examined of course to confirm. However not everyone with a crooked or deviated septum needs surgery. There are lots of people walking around blissfully unaware they too have a deviated septum! Septoplasty is only indicated if there are symptoms. So if you don't have difficulty breathing, your nose doesn't appear crooked or you don't suffer from nasal crusting or bleeding, the best course of action is in fact to do nothing.

Stretched or deviated septum can be corrected

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It sounds like you have a deviated septum, and this should be able to be corrected in experienced hands. If you have been able to completely stop the tic that you feel created the problemto your septum to begin with, then you would be a candidate to have the septum repaired. If you still find yourself doing the tic from time to time, you may need to have this controlled first to minimize recurrance of the deviated septum.


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Yes, your septum can be fixed with a septoplasty. However, most surgeons will recommend that you have your "tic" to push your septum addressed first with a therapist, as it would not make sense to perform surgery which you might disrupt. Good luck, /nsn.

Fixing a crooked septum

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You would really need to be examined in person in order to determine what the best option would be for you. Fixing a crooked septum is possible by performing a septoplasty.

Thank you and best of luck.

Dr. Nassif

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Septal Deviation

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You really need to be examined and evaluated.  If your septum is deviated it can be addressed by a septoplasty.  It is difficult to say what needs to be done with a proper intranasal exam.

Good luck.

Treating a septal deviation deflection or deformity is a common component of rhinoplasty or nose job

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As the other doctors have suggested, your problem would best be treated with a septoplasty. Depending on the severity of the condition, different treatment plans will be recommended. Seek the advice of a specialist who can perform a detailed examination and discuss your options.

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.