Nasal Fractures in Tampa and St. Petersburg, FL
A broken nose, or nasal fracture, is painful and may also permanently change the size, shape and function of your nose. The cosmetic effects of a nasal fracture may cause you to feel embarrassed. When combined with the physiological effects, such as improper breathing, discharge and congestion, a nasal fracture has long-term effects on your quality of life. Working with a specialist, such as Dr. Dean G. Davis, dual-board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon and otolaryngologist, ensures that the residents of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and other communities in Florida, received the highest level of care for their nasal fractures.
What Is A Nasal Fracture?
Nasal fractures occur when there is a fracture or crack in any bony area of the nose. The most common form of facial fracture is a nasal fracture that may affect the nasal tip cartilages, septum, and any nasal bone structure.
Nasal fractures can create functional and aesthetic difficulties. Since the nose represents the center of the face, a nasal fracture can imbalance facial features, leading to a significantly altered facial appearance. Nasal fractures may also cause nosebleeds, breathing problems, and sinus infections. For these reason, if you suffer a nasal fracture, you should see a doctor immediately to avoid further complications that may become permanent in some cases.
Nasal fractures are typically addressed within two weeks after the trauma. Nose fracture surgery is usually covered by insurance companies.
Types of Nasal Fractures
Most nasal fractures occur to the septum — the cartilage structure that divides the nasal passage into two nostrils. Sometimes, nasal tip cartilage and other nose bone structures are involved.
Common Nose Fracture Causes
Trauma is the most common cause of nose fractures. Fractures caused by sports injuries are very common. The most common sports involved are basketball, hockey, and boxing. Another typical cause is car accidents.
Broken Nose Symptoms
Common symptoms of a broken nose include:
- A crooked nose
- Bruises, particularly under the eyes
- Tenderness or pain
- A crunching or cracking sound when the nose is touched
- Problems breathing through the nose
When is Nose Surgery Needed?
Nose surgery may be needed when the nose has a crooked or altered appearance or causes breathing difficulties or related problems. It is crucial that such surgery occurs within 10 days following the fracture to sidestep potential complications. This is done to ensure adequate healing and to minimize distortion to the nose.
Sadly, many of those who have broken noses do not get it promptly reset. When your nose fails to heal correctly, you may experience breathing or sleep problems, or develop a deviated septum. Deviated septum usually necessitate nasal surgery.
You need to know that any swelling resulting from a nose fracture must be corrected or subside prior to reconstructive surgery. Dr. Davis normally allows a waiting period from a couple of weeks to a few months for this to occur prior to any surgery.
How Dr. Davis Repairs Broken Noses
Broken noses may involve multiple fractures. Consequently, the methods of correction are dependent upon the location and form of injury. Some patients use this as an opportunity to have a cosmetic procedure performed on their nose to correct perceived problems with the appearance. Dr. Davis is able to restore the nose to its former appearance, or both cosmetically alter it and repair the fracture.
Dr. Davis has a number of techniques to select from when fixing a fractured nose, based upon the specific needs of each individual. The techniques chosen reflect which area of the nose is affected, and other concerns specific to each individual case.
Typically, a fractured nose involves a septum fracture. The septum can be restored using a closed procedure if it is performed within 10 days of the injury. Closed procedures are where incisions are limited to inside the nose. Otherwise, you may have to wait about three months. At that time, you could have a septoplasty or rhinoplasty performed, or a septorhinoplasty — a combination of both septoplasty and rhinoplasty. The grafting of cartilage may be required, in this case, to strengthen the structure of the nose.
A nasal tip cartilage fracture is another form of nasal fracture that is rarer than a septal fracture. A nasal tip deformity following some type of trauma may indicate a displaced tip cartilage or a septum fracture that forced the nasal tip to drop. These conditions may necessitate tip plasty surgery to correct or improve how the nose appears.
Recovery Following Reconstructive Nose Surgery
Every individual case varies, but all patients who have surgery to repair a nasal fracture will have some facial puffiness and swelling. An herbal remedy known as Arnica Montana and cold compresses will be given to you to alleviate swelling, along with any painkillers as needed. The swelling should subside in approximately two weeks. You must keep your head elevated and not take part in vigorous activities such as exercise and sports. Within one month, the swelling will be reduced even more, but it could take as much as one year to go away completely.
Black eyes and nausea are common following surgery.
Most patients do not experience a great deal of post-operative pain after nasal fracture surgery, but some patients will experience some stuffiness. You must not blow your nose during this time.
You should use only decongestants prescribed by Dr. Davis since other types may contain agents that thin the blood and increase bleeding. Do not take aspirin or prescription blood thinners during this time, as they will increase your risk of bleeding.
You also are advised to sleep and rest on your back and avoid vigorous exercise and sports. Most patients are able to resume work within 10 days of their surgery. You should not wear glasses for three weeks following your surgery.
Will Insurance Cover My Nasal Fracture Treatment?
Normally, yes. Insurance will usually cover the surgery because nasal fractures cause a noticeable deformity and can lead to breathing problems. Closed reduction procedures for early fractures are usually covered, as well as later treatments involving additional surgery to correct the deformity or obstruction.
The answer is less clear for those patients wishing for a different appearance that is not caused by the actual nasal trauma. This type of surgical procedure is considered purely cosmetic and is not covered by insurance. For cosmetic procedures, we offer financing with CareCredit®. Dr. Davis accepts payment via cash, check, or credit card, as well.
Without proper treatment, nasal fractures cause a lifetime of breathing and cosmetic issues. If you have recently experienced a nasal fracture, schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Davis.