How Long Does a Broken Nose Take to Heal?

Assuming the fracture is straight and minor, and doesn't need to be reset, how long does it take a broken nose to heal?

Doctor Answers 29

It Takes 6 Weeks For Bones to Heal

If you have a "hairline fracture" that does not need to be reset, then you should be able to resume full activity in a week or two. However, if you have a true nasal fracture, with the bones completely broken but not displaced, then you should know that it takes 6 weeks for bones to heal. 

If you have a broken arm, the orthopedic surgeon will cast your arm for 6 weeks. After a nasal fracture repair, it takes the same 6 weeks for your nasal bones to heal. We can't keep a cast on your nose for 6 weeks because the skin would suffer damage, but it still takes that time for bone healing. Especially in the first few weeks, the patient should be careful to avoid re-injury.

Some patients require more complex repair to address a twist of the nose, or a new nasal bump, or some other change in appearance after a nasal fracture. Examples can be seen in the web link.

Voorhees Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Broken Nose

Good Question.  So as you mentioned it all depends.  If you have a minor or non-displaced fracture, meaning you nose while swollen is straight then you dont need to SET it or reduce it.  If however the nose looks grossly crooked then setting will be needed.  The next issue is when.  You generally want to wait a few days to let the swelling resolve as some crookedness is an illusion and will go away with the swelling but you dont want to wait more than like 10days.  The nose heals very quickly.  Finally you really dont want to do a NOSE JOB on a broken nose for 9-12months following the injury.

Hope that helps

Dr Rahban

Rady Rahban, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

About 6 weeks for nasal bones to heal

It takes about 6 weeks for nasal bones to heal fully, but you can resume normal activity after an injury in 1-2 weeks. I would avoid contact sports (basketball) for 6-8 wks after a fracture.

Kapil Saigal, MD, FACS
Winter Park Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Nasal trauma

Bones take 6 weeks to heal in general. This however is not always the limiting factor when undergoing nasal surgery after trauma. One needs to consider the scar tissue in the nose. As it is an enclosed space and results are measured in millimeters, I would wait between 6 months to a year before undergoing corrective surgery after nasal trauma.

Sergio Alvarez, MD
Doral Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 298 reviews

Broken Nose

If your nose doesn't need to be reset it would mean that there is no major step-off and bones are lined up well.  Besides the bones, the inside of the nose needs to be considered.  For example, any tears in the tissues, or blood between the mucosa and cartilage can be devastating, needing immediate treatment and follow-up.  Generally fractures will heal from 2-6 weeks depending on the severity.   This is just an approximation, so you would always be re-evaluated by your doctor to ensure that you are fully healed before starting any strenuous activity.  Best of luck. Dr. Michael Omidi

An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

How long does a broken nose take to heal?

It can take 6-8 weeks for the damaged bone to heal and to form bone of normal strength after a break. This is why repeat injury within the first several weeks can easily cause the nose to break again. For this reason, it is important to avoid contact sports for 6 weeks after the infjry.

Vito C. Quatela, MD
Rochester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Nasal Fracture

Thank you for your question. If you have a  small non-displaced "hairline fracture" that does not need to be reset, then you should be able to resume full activity within a few weeks. However, if you have a true nasal fracture, with the bones completely broken but not displaced, then it could take 4-6 weeks for them to heal.  Good luck, Dr. Bublik.

Michael Bublik, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Activities after a nasal fracture

Since nasal fractures represent a spectrum of injuries, it is best to have your nose evaluated by a local rhinoplasty expert.
To understand nasal fractures, it is helpful to understand the supporting anatomy of the nose.The upper one third of the nose is made up of a pair of small bones. The bones are covered by a supporting layer of periosteum on their outer surface followed by the overlying skin and muscles. On the undersurface of the bones is more periosteum and the lining of the nose. Helping to hold the bones up from the undersurface is the septum or divider that separates the nose into two halves.
The diagnosis of a nasal fracture is not an x ray diagnosis. Because there are several small bones, the places where the bones meet can look like a break. A nasal fracture diagnosis is made by actually feeling the bones and any motion. If there is no motion, normal activities may be appropriate immediately. If there is motion, I would wait 6 weeks

Brian Maloney, MD, FACS
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

How long for broken nose to heal?

Assuming your nose does not require a closed reduction (any form of straightening,) full bone healing takes approximately 6 weeks.  Your nose is extremely fragile during this time period, especially the first two weeks.  If you should experience any further nasal trauma during this time there is a possibilty the nasal fracture will become more severe, and the nasal bones themselves may shatter.

Rondi Kathleen Walker, MD
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Healing a broken nose

It takes about 6 weeks for the bones in a broken nose to heal completely.  After that the bones are strong and will not move or change.

Bivik Shah, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 26 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.