Does Nose Cartilage Heal Itself?

I was recently punched in the face and although I was not hit in the nose, the mid side of my nose on the cartilage seems a little dented. Will this heal or should I consider getting the dent fixed?

Doctor Answers 12

Dented nose cartilage

Change in the shape of the nose after trauma means there was damage to either the nasal bones or cartilage or both. After swelling is gone, if there is still a dent present it is unlikely for it to correct by itself without surgical repair. Correction may require limited repair or a full septoplasty and rhinoplasty depending on the amount of damage.

Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 210 reviews

Fractured Nose Cartilage

Yes, but there are occasions that it does not.  Generally, cartilage does not have a very good blood supply, and as a result it sometimes does not heal.  However, the more important question to ask is whether or not there has been any alteration in the cosmetic appearance or function of a nose following a nasal injury.  Whether this is related to cartilage or bone doesn’t really matter, as it may require surgery to get either cosmetic or functional improvement.

Cory Goldberg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Cartilage is malleable

It would be difficult to "dent" nasal cartilage from trauma to the face.  You can cut or tear cartilage and overtime cartilage can warp, but a punch to the nose would be very difficult to cause a permanent bend.  The septal cartilage within your nose can fracture and result in a dented look to the bridge of the nose, as well as breaking the connection between the bone and the septum.  To find out which of these categories you fit into, or if you have just broken the nasal bones you should visit a plastic surgeon so they can examine your nose and come up with the correct treatment for you.  Unfortunately, cartilage that has been cut, torn, or warped with not fix itself over time, but there are surgeries that can correct the problem.

Brandon Q. Reynolds, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Dent in nose cartilage

From what you describe, you may have a problem with the position of your nasal cartilage after the trauma to the face. You would benefit from consulting with a rhinoplasty specialist to see if a procedure needs to be done to fix the dent.

Vito C. Quatela, MD
Rochester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Nose surgery correction

You may have a cartilage collapse and if this is causing cosmetic or breathing concerns, you may need a surgical correction.


Dr. Karamanoukian

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Dent in nose after trauma

If you notice the dent and can see a nose specialist within the week of trauma, the facial plastic surgeon or ENT doctor may be able to move it back to its normal position if it is due to bone movement. If not, wait for all the swelling to come down and you may benefit from a small procedure to help reshape the nose. 


Dr. Zoumalan

Richard A. Zoumalan, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Nose Surgery

Allow some time (about 6 months) to see how it heals.  A minor dent might benefit from a non surgical rhinoplasty.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Dent in nose

If all you have is a superficial dent, the easiest way to address this is by using filler material such as Radiesse or Restylane. You should have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon or ENT to verify that there is no internal or structural damage.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Hit in face and now node has a dent?

Your nose had to have some impact or the cartilage would not have been affected.  The cartilage will heal and the swelling will go down for several months after the injury.  The dent may become less or more noticeable at that time but why not wait 6 months to see how it all turns out before having anything done?

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Traumatic Dent in Nasal Cartialge

After a traumatic injury to the cartilage of the nose, it is doubtful that the cartialge will regenerate itself. You can either fill in the dent with a filler such as Radiesse or a hyaluronic acid (Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane). This is easily done in an office setting with a little local anesthesia with minimal recovery.

However, if this does not work or you do not want to deal with the periodic injections, then a small surgical procedure with a cartilage graft can be done. Usually, a piece of cartilage from the septum or the ear can be used to fill in the dent and this is longer lasting if not permanent.

Julio F. Gallo, MD
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.