Ever been in a brawl? Or have you watched one? Broken nose, swelling face, and gushing blood are only some of the familiar scenes you will expect. Although you haven’t personally watched one, these impactful fights are usual in movies. And whether it’s the fists, foot, or the door, noses always get the damage. Not because it leads to more bleeding, but because the nose does not have the right structures for it. Compared to the flat, sturdy facial bones, the nose has softer parts. And these intricate soft tissues are far easier to break and vulnerable to impacts. With the high occurrence of nasal bone fracture, people often tend to ignore it. However, without the proper treatment, the bone could heal in the wrong place or shape. Luckily, such cases are not yet late. Know how professional rhinoplasty surgery saves nasal fractures. And why opting for one is necessary.
The Normal Anatomy Of The Nose And Its Function
Aside from the eyes, the nose is a prominent structure in a person’s face. By encompassing almost half of all the facial bone incidents, the nose is indeed notable but fragile. And although the nose has bony supports, only soft tissue cartilages support it from the front and at the lower parts. Thus, when faced with force or high impact, these cartilages easily deform and even get displaced. The wall that divides the nostrils, known as the septum, is the most common fracture bone structure.
Much more, underneath are muscles, tissues, glands, nerves, and networks of vessels. Hence, when there is a collision or force, blood smoothly flows out like a stream. The disruption of the vessels supplying these areas leads to nosebleeds or epistaxis. As the primary organ for smelling and breathing, the nose also contains the right supporting tissues. The nerves translate the chemical stimulants in the air, which the brain translates into sensory information. In contrast, the other structures keep the circulating air warm before delivering it to the lungs.
How Does A Nasal Bone Fracture Happen?
Within almost every context of physical contact, noses get a high chance of getting fractured. Regardless of the activity, sports, playing indoors, going outdoors, and assaults, nasal bones get a certain degree of damage —if not all. And with most cases occurring at an early adult age, many people rely on the body’s natural healing process to correct the damaged parts. However, this practice does not guarantee total restoration both in structure and function. And damage to the framework of soft tissues or failure to restore them will lead to respiratory or sensory problems. And these complications vary from snoring to difficulty breathing. Even when the cartilages heal from stress and trauma, they may not fully correct the initial damage. Hence, immediate medical attention and treatment are always necessary for these incidents.
First Aid And Home Remedies For Broken Nose
Although nasal injuries are common, not every case is an emergency. After all, low impact force could also set your nose bleeding. And when this happens, it is best to know how to contain the trauma on your own. Here are some first aid options for nasal bone fractures:
- Sit and lean forward in the event of nosebleeds.
- Apply a cold compress on the area for about 15 to 20 minutes without adding pressure
- Clean cuts and open wounds
- Avoid forceful blowing or picking of the nose.
- Sleep with the head elevated
- Take some over the counter medicines to ease the pain.
- Limit physical activities for a few days
Signs And Symptoms Of Nasal Injury
Most often, a nasal bone fracture goes unnoticed. Indeed, with all the blood, swelling, and pain, your nose becomes the least of your concern. Avoid further complications when you know what to look for. Here are signs and symptoms that often indicate a broken nose:
- Pain and tenderness around the nose
- Sensitivity to touch and pressure around the area
- Crooked or bent nose
- Difficulty breathing
- Congested nose or blocked nasal passage
- Mucus discharge
When bleeding doesn’t stop or a clear watery fluid comes out, it is best to go to an emergency clinic right away. Consistent swelling, severe headache or neck pain, continuous bleeding, and marked nasal deformation are also emergency signs requiring professional intervention.
Treating Nasal Bone Fracture
Here are ways physicians or surgeons treat and diagnose a broken nose:
- Taking Of History
Noting the events that led to bleeding or fractured nasal bone is relevant for the treatment. This step also helps in estimating the extent of nasal injuries.
- Physical Examination
The doctor will have to examine the evident trauma or injuries personally. They also clean and treat wounds outside the injury.
- Imaging And Laboratory
When the professionals suspect more profound and severe damage in the surrounding area, they also request x-ray imaging and laboratory procedure. Some incidents may also be too gore for an accurate physical examination. And doctors will have to rely on x-ray results for a more precise diagnosis.
- Differential Diagnosis
Depending on the diagnosis, the doctor will then prescribe the right treatment or therapy. The diagnoses commonly involving the frontal bones are fractures and contusions. When there is not much damage to the nose, the physical often sends the patient home with prescribed medicines and rest. These medications include painkillers to help with pain and inflammation. However, when there are significant anatomical changes, surgeries or manual realignment are necessary to correct the damage.
Nasal Injuries And Complications
When nosebleeds happen, people rely on home remedies such as tilting the head or an ice pack. However, when a nasal injury is left untreated, it could lead to a series of complications. Some of the problems associated with lack of proper management include:
The impact of the force or trauma could displace the nasal septum. This thin cartilage is what divides the left and right nostrils. Typically, it is placed right in the middle to separate the nostrils equally. But a punch or collision could cause the septal cartilage to displace or get crooked. When this happens, the septum will sit off the centre, favoring one nostril over the other. When this happens, nasal congestion, sinus infections, and difficulty breathing could occur.
Since nasal injuries also got their share of a bloody scenario, a septal hematoma is common. Indeed, this condition almost always follows facial or nasal injuries. Septal hematoma arises from the formation of a blood clot in the septum due to ruptured vessels. In some cases, septal hematoma resolves on its own. However, without treatment, it could lead to complications such as infection. Consistent blockage of the nasal airway and swelling may also pose breathing difficulties.
Sometimes the septum will receive more blows than a shifted position. It could break, tear, and form tiny cracks. Other surrounding cartilages are not safe as well. And when this happens, it is best to seek medical attention immediately. Forceful impacts from aggressive and physical sports such as hockey or automobile accidents may cause fractures too severe for a pack of cold compress. And doctors will have to require surgical intervention to correct the issue.
How Rhinoplasty Surgery Helps In Nasal Bone Fracture
Even with advancements in science and surgical techniques, rhinoplasty still gets on the wrong side of many. However, rhinoplasty surgery does not always have to be cosmetic. A rhinoplasty surgery could either be for aesthetics or functionality. And here are the differences between the two:
This type of nose surgery is what people often think of when it comes to rhinoplasty. Its primary purpose is to improve the nose shape and appearance. Cosmetic surgeons will usually modify the nose form and features depending on the decision of the patients. Some clinics even have advanced systems to identify accurate features to match and complement the patient’s face.
Many surgical techniques encompass functional rhinoplasty. And treating nasal bone fractures is only a part of it. Although you may not have fixed your deviated septum or misshapen nose immediately, rhinoplasty will always have the means to save your case. Instead of focusing on the nose’s appearance, this type of surgery revolves around restoring normal functions. Common applications of functional rhinoplasty surgery include closed nasal reduction and septoplasty. Septoplasty corrects severely displaced and bothersome cases of a deviated septum. And since the surgeons are already in the area, you could also opt for additional cosmetic procedures. Hence, to patients with nasal bone fractures, opting for functional rhinoplasty is like hitting two birds with one stone.
Preventing Nasal Bone Fracture
Keep your nose off injuries by knowing how to keep it safe. Although car rides and physical contact sports are too gratifying to let go of, there are many ways to prevent nasal bone fractures. Here are some safety practices to avoid nose injuries:
- Wear a helmet
- Use the seatbelt
- Put on the recommended sports gear.
- Install edge or safety bumpers at home furniture
Noses may get you into frequent bleeding and trouble. But doing effective initial remedies could help in limiting the damage. After all, rhinoplasty surgeries are now available to reconstruct and correct broken noses. However, even with this surgery application, it is best to put safety as your priority. Being responsible while driving or childproofing the house will limit the occurrence of nasal injuries. Besides, with the pain and blood, you wouldn’t want to risk a nasal bone fracture.