Broken Nose (Nasal Fracture)
How do I get a broken nose?
You can break your nose during play, sports, accidents, fights, and falls. But it may be hard to tell if your nose is broken. Swelling can make your nose look crooked even if it is not broken. When the swelling goes down after a few days, it is easier to tell if your nose is really crooked and possibly broken.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of a broken nose include:
Possible complications of a broken nose include:
How is a broken nose diagnosed?
A broken nose is diagnosed through a physical examination and medical history. An X-ray of the nose is not usually needed or helpful if only a broken nose is suspected. If other facial injuries or fractures are suspected, a CT scan will be done. Your doctor may wish to delay evaluation until the swelling has gone down. This may take several days.
How is it treated?
Immediately after the fracture, apply ice and keep your head elevated. You may need pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (for example, Tylenol). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Do not take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or aspirin, for 48 hours after a nose injury. Do not take aspirin if you are younger than 20 because of the risk of Reye syndrome.
Immediate treatment is needed for some injuries that occur with a broken nose, such as:
Treatment, if needed, usually is done within 7 to 14 days of breaking your nose. Most broken noses do not require treatment other than controlling pain and other symptoms.
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