How Soon Should We Wait Before Having my 8yr Olds Broken Nose Set?

She broke her nose and got a concussion 5 days ago. The ENT we called said he wanted to wait 2 weeks before seeing her. The swelling is mostly gone. There is a noticeable bump on the left side of her nose and when she breathes out of the left side it sounds slightly plugged. Is 2 weeks to long to wait? I don't want them to have to 'rebrake' it and don't want her to have breathing problems or a crooked or bumped nose..

Doctor Answers 11

Child with a Broken Nose- When to Correct It

Waiting 2 weeks for a broken nose is too long, especially with children- they heal more quickly than adults.  The healing process begins immediately after any injury, but sometimes the accompanying swelling can cloud the picture, and waiting several days for that to subside before deciding on surgery is justifiable. At close to 5-7 days, a surgeon should be able to accurately judge if surgery is needed.  Please go for a second opinion ASAP.

Paoli Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Nasal fracture

At two weeks the fracture will be healed in the incorrect position,which will require refracture to reposition the bones. I typically would see a patient like this at five to seven days after the injury so that swelling could resolve to assess the extent of the trauma.

Jay M. Pensler, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

How Soon Should We Wait Before Having my 8yr Olds Broken Nose Set?

 It's typical to wait several weeks for the swelling to subside.  Best to follow the advice of the surgeon who has examined her.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Child and nasal fracture

If you wait two weeks before getting it reduced, it will probably be healed already.  I would seek another opinion. Ideally you would like to have it reduced within the first week to ten days. A revision may be necessary down the road, but putting it back midline as best as possible now, and reducing the fracture will make a revision a lot easier.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

How Soon Should We Wait Before Having my 8yr Olds Broken Nose Set?

In a person this age the fracture will begin to heal very quickly. If there is are breathing issues or a visible deformity then I like to adjust the bone and cartilage structure within the first week. Then if there are long term cosmetic deformities I like to wait until the Childs nose is mature which would be around 18 years of age and address them at that time. Any major deformity can be addressed at this time as I stated before. An 8 yo's nose will be made up mostly of cartilage at this point and will be very pliable and easy to adjust. Once the structures begin to heal after the first 1-3 weeks then any deformity or breathing problem would require re-creating the fracture and re-setting the structures.

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Before 2 weeks

For nasal fractures, waiting longer than 2 weeks to treat them makes treatment morer difficult, as the bones (if they ar broken) will have begun to heal and will make accurately setting them difficult.


Jason J. Hall, MD, FACS
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Rhinoplasty in a young child after trauma.

I normally wait several weeks for the swelling to go down unless the nose is very crooked a week or two later.  Then I may do the straightening at 2 weeks. 

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Broken Nose

Two weeks will allow for edema and swelling to decrease enough to help provide the best environment for nasal fracture repair.

Robert Shumway, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Nasal fracture while young

There are two reasons to 'operate' or reduce a nasal fracture. The first is a visible deformity, and the second is an impaired airway. At age 8, the nose is mostly still cartilage and is quite resilient. We treat very few fractures at this age. The nasal bone, if fractured, will set up within the first week, so we favor reduction by five to six days as the swelling goes down if necessary. The inside will swell with an injury so breathing issues early on are not a sure sign of trouble in the future. Even small bumps can resolve with growth. The ENT might be betting on the young age as an indication that little need be done except careful observation.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

How Soon Should We Wait Before Having my 8yr Olds Broken Nose Set?

Typically I like to reduce nasal fractures either immediately of somewhere between 7 - 14 days. Beyond 14 days the bones begin to heal and it becomes more challenging to straighten the nose. Further, I have seen one instance a couple of years ago where an insurance company declined to cover a procedure performed beyond 14 days. Unfortunately, I cannot recall the carrier. Ideally, your child should be seen sooner than 14 days unless the plan is to reduce the fracture at that appointment. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 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.