How to Tell if my Nose is Broken?

I was in wrestling a few days ago, and I was slammed on my nose and now it is swollen and hard to breath out of. It's very sensitive, and whenever I move it, it makes a clicking noise. I'm just wondering if it is broken, and worth going to the doctor for.

Doctor Answers 9

Nasal Trauma

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It sounds from your description that you indeed may have broken your nose. I would wait for the swelling to go down so that it can be better assessed typically five to seven days after the trauma and see a facial plastic surgeon in your area. There is no rush even if it is broken and needs to be corrected as there is no timeline for repair.

Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Sounds like it's broken

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It sounds like you may have a broken nose, especially since it makes a clicking noise. However, to make sure you should see your doctor.

I suspect that you do have a nasal fracture

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Hello Nick,

Thank you for the question.  Your description does seem to indicate that you have sustained a nasal fracture.  When you break your nose you can break the cartilage septum or you can break the nasal bones or both.  You will likely need a CT scan.  Your plastic surgeon may be able to reset the bone or cartilage fracture.  In addition, if you have blood next to your septum (septal hematoma) this should be drained.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

Broken Nose

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Hi Nick08318,

It sounds like you are describing a broken nose.  Contact a facial plastic surgeon to assess your situation.  You may elect to wait approximately one week to allow alot of the swelling to subside.  Your surgeon will examine and evalutate you and come up with a possible surgical plan.

Best of luck,


Dr. David Alessi

David Alessi, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

How to Tell if my Nose is Broken?

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If the nasal trauma resulted in significant pain, popping sounds or cracking most likely broken cartilage and or bone.  The breathing difficulties, IMHO, dictate that you have your nose examioned by a Rhinoplasty Surgeon or ENT surgeon ASAP to rule out a septal hematoma.  If left untreated, this can cause collapse of the nasal bridge from septal cartilage destruction.  This has happened to more than one wrestler, boxer or athelete.  

Broken Nose

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You need to be seen by either an Otolaryngologist (ENT surgeon) or a Plastic surgeon. Your nose needs to be examined for bleeding in the septum and if the facture displaced the nose it may need to be placed back before it heals in its displaced position. Rather than guessing do yourself a favor and get yourself properly taken for. 

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Possible Broken Nose

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It sounds like you have broken your nose. You should see a a Facial Plastic Surgeon or Plastic Surgeon ASAP. If there was bleeding into your septum causing a hematoma, that collection of blood could destroy part of the septum. Depending on what was broken a simple manipulation of the fracture can be done to straighten the nose and avoid the need for a surgical procedure in some patients. However this must be done within 2 weeks of the trauma.

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

How to tell if Nose is Broken after Trauma

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It can be extremely difficult to tell immediately after nasal trauma with swelling if your nose is broken. I would recommend you see a plastic surgeon to evaluate your nose.

It's probably broken

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Altho you won't know unless you go to a doctor, it probably is broken.  Go to a Plastic Surgeon or Facial Plastic Surgeon.  The reason we want to see you early on is that if the nose and possibly septum are broken, they can be set in a relatively straight position and possibly avoid the need for future surgery.  A straight nose is easier to fix and a minor septal deviation easier than a major one.  In all liklihood the doctor will order an xray to confirm, but if the clinical exam is suspicious, you will probably need to have the fractures set.  The longer you wait the harder it is to do and after several weeks, you may have to wait several months for all the swelling to subside before fixing the deformity, also at a much greater cost.  Good Luck, Dr. Schuster from Boca Raton

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.