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Nasal Fracture


A nasal fracture (broken nose) is a crack or break in the bones or cartilage of your nose. Cartilage is tough tissue that covers the end of a bone. You may have a break in the upper nose (bridge), the side, or in the septum. The septum is in the middle of the nose and divides your nostrils.



  • Pain medicine: You may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
  • Decongestant: This medicine decreases nasal swelling and makes breathing easier.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

How to care for your nasal fracture:

  • Rest: Rest when you feel it is needed. Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.
  • Ice: Place an ice pack over your nose to help reduce pain and swelling. Ask your primary healthcare provider how long and how often to use the ice pack.
  • Rinses: Remove blood and crusting inside your nose with water or saline (salt water). Ask your primary healthcare provider to show you how to rinse your nose.
  • Wound care: Ask your primary healthcare provider to show you how to care for your wounds, splint, or packing.

Follow up with a specialist or your primary healthcare provider in 2 to 5 days as directed:

Write down any questions you have so you remember to ask them during your visits. Sometimes follow-up care is needed months or even years later to correct problems.

Prevent further injury to your nose:

  • Protect your nose: Protect your nose to prevent bleeding, bruising, or another fracture. If you play sports, ask your primary healthcare provider if you can wear a face mask to shield your nose.
  • Do not blow your nose: Your nose could move out of place before it heals. Ask your primary healthcare provider when you can safely blow your nose again.

Contact your primary healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You keep having nosebleeds.
  • Your headache is getting worse, even with pain medicine.
  • Your skin feels itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
  • Your splints or packing are loose.
  • You have questions about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • Someone has harmed you.
  • Clear fluid is leaking from your nose.
  • You have double vision or have problems moving your eyes.
  • You have trouble breathing, smelling, or talking.
  • You have a grape-like swelling inside your nose.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.