Broken Nose Injuries, Symptoms and Treatment
Nasal fractures can occur as the result of direct trauma, which most commonly results from car accidents, falls, contact sports, and/or fights. Nasal fractures, or broken noses, are the most common types of all facial bone fractures. The most commonly affected age group is men between the ages of 15 and 30, and many of them suffer from lateral impact injuries.
Diagnosis and Treatment
A typical physical examination for this type of injury should include looking at whether there is a history of any preexisting trauma, possibly followed by epistaxis and a nasal bone CT scan (if the patient appears to have any associated facial fractures). Patients suffering from nasal fractures typically display swelling over the nasal bridge, a deviation of the nasal bone (with an obvious difference in the shape of the bone itself), and periorbital ecchymosis.
Immediately after the injury occurs, patients should elevate the head and apply ice to the nose in order to reduce swelling. Nasal decongestants can be used in order to reduce congestion, as well. Any trauma that results in deformity or dislocations may also require fixation and/or open reduction surgery. Certain specialists can be helpful in high-force cases, such as otolaryngologists, plastic surgeons, or maxillofacial surgeons. Indications are as follows, depending upon the type of patient involved:
- Adults and children, where minimal edema is present: reduction in less than three hours after injury
- Adults, where edema has resolved but setting of fracture fragments has not occurred: reduction between six and 10 days after injury
- Children, where edema has resolved but setting of fracture fragments has not occurred: reduction three to seven days after injury
There can be numerous facial injuries and complications associated with nasal fractures, such as:
- Inability to reduce: Open reduction must be chosen for fractures that cannot be reduced, it should be delayed until approximately three months after the injury to allow for swelling to reduce and nasal fragments to settle
- Blowout fractures: Commonly characterized by the presence of extraocular muscle dysfunction and/or an abnormality of the ocular anatomy or function
- Infection: If infection results from the nasal fracture, serious complications can occur; for these reasons, patients should be placed on antibiotics.
- Septal hematoma: Collections of blood in the subperichondrial space, placing pressure on the underlying cartilage and resulting in necrosis of the septum. This also makes a patient predisposed to infection
- Cribriform plate fractures: This can lead to serious complications such as meningitis, brain abscesses, or encephalitis
- Hemorrhage: Excessive bleeding may occur, in spite of the application of topical vasoconstrictors
- Dysesthesia: Nerve damage may result from local anesthesia, resulting in minor dysesthesias
Accident Victims Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Massachusetts
Nasal fracture injuries and associated trauma after an auto accident can cause severe pain and limit movement and your ability to return to your normal life. No matter where you are, our attorneys are here to help. Contact our office for a free case review and consultation today, and we will get you started on the road to recovery.
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Our personal injury trial lawyers handle all types of accident claims including those involving facial accidents, throughout all of Massachusetts including, but not limited to, those in the following counties, cities and towns: Plymouth County including Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Hingham, Duxbury, Wareham, Abington, Rockland, Whitman, Hanson, Holbrook, Middleborough; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Lakeville, Norton; Cape Cod, Falmouth, Barnstable and the Greater Boston area including Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, Everett, Lynn, Revere, Dorchester, Roxbury.