If I Wait Too Long to Get my Broken Nose Fixed, Will It Heal Incorrectly?

My sister broke my nose about a week and a half ago. Now that we know it's broken, my mom says I can't get and ENT to fix it for another month of so because she doesn't want me to have a splint/brace & black eye for school pictures. Will my nose heal like that? Will it have to be completely rebroken? Is is bad to wait??

Doctor Answers 9

Treatment after Broken Nose

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It is best to get your nose checked out by an ENT, facial plastic surgeon, or plastic surgeon as soon as possible to prevent further difficulties down the road.  As soon as a trauma occurs, the body immediately begins to work to heal and repair the damage.  In your case, if the nose is broken, it may heal crooked or asymmetrical.  The fracture should be set within 10-14 days of the incident (at the most) if you are hoping to fix the issue with a “closed reduction” of the fracture as opposed to a formal rhinoplasty.  Whether or not the nose needs to be completely rebroken depends on the extent of the damage.  I recommend setting up an appointment with an established ENT, facial plastic surgeon, or plastic surgeon so that they can accurately assess the trauma and determine a plan of action.  Good Luck!

Pittsburgh Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Fractured nose, diplaced

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If it is displaced, have it moved back as soon as the swelling settles. That requires surgery. Waiting until it is fully healed will make it more difficult to get it straight. Sometimes under 2 weeks it can be pushed back with minimal anesthesia.

David A. F. Ellis, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon

Healing after Broken Nose

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If your nose is displaced after trauma it will heal in that position. If there is no change in appearance or function nothing has to be done. Otherwise surgery will be necessary to reset the nose.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

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When Should I Fix My Broken Nose?

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Yes, you are correct the nose will heal on its own.  The problem with this is that the broken nasal bones will most likely not heal symmetrically, meaning they can heal in a crooked fashion causing a visible deformity.  Also, you may have injured your septum which could lead to breathing problems if not straightened.  Ideally, nasal fractures are best treated within 10-14 day.  After that time, healing will take place and the nasal bones will need to be broken and re positioned.  I suggest you follow up with a board certified facial plastic surgeon when your family decides, to have you nose accurately examined and satisfactorily corrected.  Disclaimer: This answer is not intended to give a medical opinion and does not substitute for medical advice and in person consultation. The information presented in this posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Anthony Corrado, DO
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Closed reduction vs. delayed rhinoplasty for a nasal fracture

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If you were hit from the side and it has displaced your nose to the side making it crooked then it should be repaired within 10 to 14 days.  This type of bone heals very rapidly.  A closed rhinoplasty can be done early otherwise a rhinoplasty may need to be done and the bones may need to be refractured and splinted.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Broken nose

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I usually try to set a broken nose within 10 days.  After that the bones might need to be re-broken to correct it.  If the septum is broken too,  you may need to wait until you stop growing to fix the whole thing.  

Stuart H. Bentkover, MD
Boston Facial Plastic Surgeon

Nasal fracture and repair

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Ideally repair of nasal fractures should be done within the first 2 weeks after the accident. But, patients often need revision of irregularities such as a bump 6 months or so down the road.  Ideally you want to re-align a deviation initially because it is more complex later one when things have healed.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

After a week and a half early treatment of a broken nose is probably not possible.

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If the bones of the nose were displaced by trauma they should be reduced the soonest possible. By 10 days they probably will be nearly impossible to move.

Repair of many nasal fractures may be performed in the office, within 7-10 days of injury.

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If you have a crooked nasal appearance after trauma, your nasal bones may remain mobile for re-positioning for around ten days. During that period, if your surgeon palpates displaced nasal bones, reduction of your fracture may be considered with local anesthetic and no downtime. If you wait longer than two weeks, you may require open-reduction of your fracture, typically with general anesthetic.Hope this helps. Dr Joseph

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 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.