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Broken Nose
(Nasal Fracture)

How is a Nose Broken?

  • A broken nose is any crack or fracture in the bony portion of the nose.
  • This is usually a result of external trauma.
  • Blows to the face during altercations, vehicle accidents, falls, and sports injuries are the most common reasons for a fractured nose.
  • Nasal fractures are often cited as the most common type of facial fracture, accounting for approximately half of all facial fractures in several studies.

Broken Nose Causes

Causes of a broken nose are related to trauma to the nose or face. Common sources of trauma include the following:

  • The most common cause of a broken nose are fights, accidents, and sports. A 2009 study of 236 patients with facial fractures incurred while playing sports found fractures of the the nasal bone to be the most common.
  • Sports injuries
  • Personal fights
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls
  • In children, nasal fractures are most commonly due to falls.

Broken Nose Pictures


Picture of the types of nasal fractures.

Picture of a Broken Nose

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/7/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Broken Nose:

Broken Nose - Symptoms

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Broken Nose - Treatment

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Broken Nose Facts

Medically reviewed by: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

  • A broken nose or nasal fracture is usually the result of external trauma.
  • The most common cause of a broken nose is fights. Sports injuries are the least common cause of a broken nose.
  • Symptoms of a broken nose include swelling, bruising, a black eye, nosebleeds, pain, tenderness when touching the nose, or deformity of the nose.
  • A broken nose can be diagnosed with X-rays, CT scan, or most commonly physical exam.
  • Treatment for a broken nose is generally with home care including OTC pain medication, ice, and rest.
  • More severe facial fractures that include a broken nose may require surgery.

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Nasal and Septal Fractures »

Nasal fractures are the most common types of facial fractures; however, they are often unrecognized and untreated at the time of injury.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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