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Nasal fracture
Nasal fracture


Definition:

A nose fracture is a break in the bone or cartilage over the bridge, in the sidewall, or septum (line dividing the nostrils) of the nose.



Alternative Names:

Fracture of the nose; Broken nose



Considerations:

A fractured nose is the most common fracture of the face. It usually occurs after an injury and often occurs with other facial fractures.

Sometimes, as a result of a blunt injury, the wall dividing the nostrils (septum) can separate.

Nose injuries and neck injuries are often seen together because a blow that is forceful enough to injure the nose may be hard enough to injure the neck.

Serious nose injuries cause problems that require a doctor's attention right away. However, for minor nose injuries, the doctor may prefer to see the patient within the first week after the injury if the nose may have become deformed.

Occasionally, surgery may be needed to correct a deformity of the nose or septum caused by a trauma.



Causes:



Symptoms:
  • Blood coming from the nose
  • Bruising around the eyes
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Misshapen appearance (may not be obvious until swelling goes down)
  • Pain
  • Swelling

The bruised appearance usually disappears after 2 weeks.

The symptoms may be the same as those of a fractured nose.



First Aid:
  1. Reassure the patient and try to keep the patient calm.
  2. Have the patient breathe through the mouth and lean forward in a sitting position in order to keep blood from going down the back of the throat.
  3. Apply cold compresses to the nose to reduce swelling. If possible, the patient should hold the compress so that there isn't too much pressure on the nose.
  4. To help relieve pain, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is recommended.


Do Not:
  • Do NOT try to straighten a broken nose.
  • Do NOT move the person if there is reason to suspect a head or neck injury .


Call immediately for emergency medical assistance if:

Get medical help right away if:



Prevention:

Wear protective headgear while playing contact sports, riding bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, or rollerblades.

Use seat belts and appropriate car seats when driving.




Review Date: 1/30/2008
Reviewed By: James L. Demetroulakos, MD, FACS, Department of Otolaryngology, N. Shore Medical Center, Salem, MA. Clinical Instructor in Otology Laryngology, Harvard Medical School. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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