Nasal trauma to the bridge from an accident
Nasal trauma creates swelling over the skin of the nose, but more importantly as to whether or not the nasal bones or cartilage have been fractured. It's important to document for medical necessity whether there is a fracture present with an x-ray or CAT scan, along with a physical exam and pictures. If the nose is fractured and displaced, resetting the nasal bone fracture in the next few weeks would be important rather than waiting for it to heal crooked. Also important to address any deviated septum that may have occurred from the fracture as well.
Is my nose damaged or fractured ?
For the next couple of days, you should ice your nose and sleep with your head elevated to reduce swelling. I would also recommend consulting with a facial trauma specialist. If you do have a fracture and your nose appears shifted to one side, this can be repaired non-surgically in the first 10-14 days following the injury. I hope this information is helpful.
Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
Basically you ice the nose in the first 24-48 hours, and then let the initial swelling settle, which will take about 5 days. If your nose is clearly crooked, you will need to have an attempted reduction within about ten days after the injury (or the bone heals in too much to allow it to be moved). If it is not crooked, then let it fully heal, 6-12 months. There is no use in XRays or CT scans, they will not change management.
This kind of question needs to be answered by a surgeon who examines you in person, and perhaps with the help of some x-rays or CT scan. Do not delay, because if it is broken, it will likely be easy to correct now, but wait and it will start to heal in a broken position - much harder to correct later.
It is best to be seen in person so that an evaluation of a possible fracture can be performed. Best to be seen ASAP.
In my experience it is rare to break the nose and not have bleeding from the nostrils. With that said the advice given is wise. Let the swelling subside and have it evaluated by a plastic surgeon.
Fractured nose or not?
In general, no bleeding, no fracture. Ice it and it should be fine. You can always have surgery later but should not need it.