Broken Nose (Nasal Fracture)

What Is It?

A broken nose is a fracture (crack or break) of the nasal bones. In most cases, there is also some damage to nearby nasal cartilage, particularly the nasal septum, the flexible partition that divides the left and right sides of the nose.

Because the nose has such a prominent and unprotected position in the center of the face, it is particularly vulnerable to impacts from accidents and violence. In mild fractures, the injury causes only some mild swelling and a brief nosebleed, so you may be unaware of the break unless your nose heals with a slight deformity. In severe fractures, however, the nose can be obviously deformed or shifted out of its normal midline position immediately after impact. There also may be a severe nosebleed, a blocked nostril or air-flow problems related to a deviated septum (a shift of the nasal septum toward the left or right nostril).

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