What is a nasal fracture?

nasal fracture

Traffic accidents, falls, ‘sports’ or fighting hits can lead to a nasal fracture. Learn what to do and the warning signs that indicate the need for immediate medical attention.

The nose is made up of bone and, above all, cartilage. If we imagine it as if it were a pyramid, where the base is the nostrils, and the vertex is the upper part, it is observed that the upper portion is the bone, which is called the nasal bridge. As we descend, we notice how the bone gives way to the cartilage that separates both nostrils, the septum, which joins the lateral walls and then at the base with the nasal wings. A nasal fracture is the breakage of any of these parts, be it bone or cartilage.

According to statistics, the most common cause of nose fractures in adults is traffic accidents, while in children and the elderly, it is accidental falls. Other frequent causes are also trauma in contact sports or during fights and assaults.

Classification of nasal fractures

Classifying these types of fractures is complex due to several factors. First, the force and trajectory of the blow are important in determining the severity of the fracture. It should also be considered that it is rare for nasal lesions to appear isolated since the blows usually affect more parts of the face, such as the cheekbone’s eyes or bones.

To classify nasal bone fracture easier, we can divide them into two large groups: simple and complex.

Simple Nasal bone fractures: are those that only affect one structure without damaging the other, that is, either only the bone is injured or only cartilage. Within this group, we find:

  • Unilateral: when only one side is injured. 
  • Bilateral: both sides are affected.

Complex nasal fractures: in these, both the bone and the cartilage fracture. Again, we observe several groups within this category:

  • Comminuted: it means that the bone has been broken into small fragments, increasing the severity of the injury.
  • With septal hematoma, the blood has accumulated in the septum or nasal septum, causing swelling and pressure.
  • With lacerations: the fracture occurs together with lacerating wounds of varying severity. Sometimes the bone can even be seen through the open wound.

Broken nose symptoms

To determine if the injury is indeed the consequence of a fracture, we must be attentive to the typical clinical signs and symptoms of a nasal fracture that the injured person presents:

  • Pain: the nose hurts, and the sensation increases when touched.
  • Bleeding:  It can vary, from a few drops to a continuous stream.
  • Edema and hematoma: when fluids and blood accumulate in the injured area, it becomes inflamed. 
  • Deformation: if the fracture is in the septum, the nose may look deformed, deviated to one side, or wider than normal. Sometimes when trying to move the nose, a cracking sound can be heard.

These are the main signs that the nose is broken, even if the diagnosis is not confirmed until an X-ray examination is carried out at a medical center.

Depending on the severity of the nasal fracture, it may be necessary to perform a computerized tomography to observe the eyes and the brain, as they could have been affected.

Warning symptoms in a nasal fracture

With a nose fracture, immediate medical attention will be needed if the following warning signs or signals are detected :

  • A clear liquid comes out of the nose. This is a sign that the brain has been damaged.
  • There is a loss of vision of any kind.
  • The person has too much trouble breathing.
  • There is an inflammation inside the nose, similar to a grape, due to blood accumulation within the septum. This is called a septal hematoma, and it needs to be drained.

Ultimately, the most important complications in an accident of this type are excessive blood loss and septal hematoma. If the person is stable, they should go to a medical center to confirm the fracture. Remember that an early action exponentially increases the possibility of success and the capacity for recovery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How much does LASIK Eye surgery cost

How Much Does Lasik Eye Surgery Cost |Pros and Cons

LASIK laser eye surgery involves cutting a very thin, square flap into the outer layer of your cornea using a laser so that the inner layers may be reshaped to correct the curvature faults that cause distorted vision. It’s one of a kind since it’s the only laser vision correction that makes modifications to the […]

Read More

10 Weight-Loss Foods You Can Eat Every Week

The reality is that there is no single food that makes or breaks your targets for losing weight or that we can all use some kind of weight loss diet. Finding how to apply a nutritious mix to your strategy will make it a little easier to do this, which in the long term can […]

Read More
Medical precautions

Medical precautions to take if old parents live alone

Age is the foremost factor for a wide range of diseases. As your parents grow old you will find a drastic change in your physical and mental vitality. This is when they need to maintain a good standard of living and you must keep track of their emotional well-being.  If your parents can take care […]

Read More