A nose fracture is a break in the bone or cartilage over the bridge, or in the sidewall or septum (structure that divides the nostrils) of the nose.
Fracture of the nose; Broken nose; Nasal fracture
A fractured nose is the most common fracture of the face. It usually occurs after an injury and often occurs with other fractures of the face.
Sometimes a blunt injury can cause the wall dividing the nostrils (septum) to separate.
Nose injuries and neck injuries are often seen together because a blow that is forceful enough to injure the nose may be hard enough to injure the neck.
Serious nose injuries cause problems that need a health care provider's attention right away. For example, damage to the cartilage can cause a collection of blood to form inside the nose. If this blood is not drained right away, it can cause an abscess or a permanent deformity that blocks the nose. It may lead to tissue death and cause the nose to collapse.
For minor nose injuries, the health care provider may want to see the patient within the first week after the injury to see if the nose has moved out of its normal shape.
Occasionally, surgery may be needed to correct a nose or septum that has been bent out of shape by an injury.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.