Broken nose

Such injuries can vary in complexity and may be associated with other injuries such as orbital rim fracture. Correction can be carried out within the first three weeks following the injury or in certain circumstances delayed by up to six months until all the inflammation has settled.

In certain circumstances a broken nose can be pushed back into its original shape at the time of injury before facial swelling occurs.  This would obviously depend on the nature of the injury and the presence of a suitably qualified and experienced person in attendance.  A common example is an injury during a rugby or football match where a broken nose can be clicked back into place by the Team Doctor.  Following an injury the patient should be seen by a Doctor to exclude the possibility of a septal haematoma.  The latter is a collection of blood within the layers of the septum and if left untreated can result in the loss of septal cartilage, abscess formation and subsequent saddle deformity of the nose.  A septal haematoma requires immediate drainage under a short general anaesthetic.

If the nose is deviated after the swelling has reduced, the nose needs to be manipulated under anaesthetic. This requires admission to hospital as a day case, and the nose is pushed back into its original shape. The results are good but occasionally unsatisfactory and a formal Septorhinoplasty needs to be done 4-6 months later.

Occasionally the septum can be traumatised and fractured following an injury and during the manipulation procedure attempts can be made to manipulate the septum back into the middle.  The results, however, are variable.