Why are doctors ignoring the fact that a nasal septum can be straightened by snapping it into place using just the thumbs?

 I mean if a nose becomes crooked due to an external force it could also be "uncrooked" the same way, am I wrong? I know I'm not. I've seen it done. It sure can be very painful and it should be done right, but it is certainly possible and a real alternative to surgery.

Doctor Answers 4

Septal deviation by manual reduction with your thumb

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The septum is 4-5 inches long from the nostrils to the back of the nasopharynx. It is composed of 2 bones and the front part his cartilage. The majority of deviations in the septum  occur at the junction between the bone and the cartilage which is approximately 2 inches to 3 inches in the back of the nostril. If there is a small caudal septal deviation of cartilage on the front part of the nostril, manual reduction with your thumb is possible if the septum itself is straight and not warped, just straight and displaced. On rare occasions we have done a manual reduction to straighten the septum anteriorly. For more diagrams and information, please see the link below

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Straightening the Septum With Thumbs

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In some cases where the nose was acutely injured, this technique you describe to straighten the septum may be possible. However, if the broken cartilage and/or bone has been allowed to heal, additional maneuvers may be needed to effectively correct the displacement. 

John M. Hilinski, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Nasal surgery

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The person trying to set a broken nose/septum themselves could do further damage to the nose or adjacent structures without proper instruments or anesthesia.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews


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What you say can be done if performed early after injury but the longer you wait the more the nose may need to be operated on to get the best result possible

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 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.