Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Multimedia

If you have a minor fracture that hasn't caused your nose to become crooked or otherwise misshapen, you may not need professional medical treatment. Your doctor may recommend simple self-care measures, such as using ice on the area and taking over-the-counter pain medications.

Fixing displacements and breaks

Your doctor may be able to realign your nose manually, or you may need surgery.

Manual realignment

If the break has displaced the bones and cartilage in your nose, your doctor may be able to manually realign them. This needs to be done within 14 days from when the fracture occurred, preferably sooner.

During this procedure, your doctor:

  • Administers medication by injection or nasal spray to ease discomfort
  • Opens your nostrils with a nasal speculum
  • Uses special instruments to help realign your broken bones and cartilage

Your doctor will also splint your nose using packing in your nose and a dressing on the outside. Sometimes, an internal splint is also necessary for a short time. The packing usually needs to stay in for a week. You'll also be given a prescription for antibiotics to prevent infection with the bacteria that may normally reside in your nose.

Surgery

Severe breaks, multiple breaks or breaks that have gone untreated for more than 14 days may not be candidates for manual realignment. In these cases, surgery to realign the bones and reshape your nose may be necessary.

If the break has damaged your nasal septum, causing obstruction or difficulty breathing, reconstructive surgery may be recommended. Surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis.

Jun. 18, 2014

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