The patient numbers in our ongoing Audit of Nasal Fracture Management in Ireland has crossed the 550 mark over the last three years out of which about one third are sports related injuries.
Youngsters participating in contact Sports are often advised to defer surgical intervention till they stop playing sports … in sports loving Ireland that would mean a sentence to live with a blocked and/or a crooked nose for a decade or few.
My experience with nasal fracture management & rhinoplasty has helped me to make these observations that I share with my patients who ask me “will my nose be weaker after the nose surgery”.
1. Nose should be protected from further sport injury for at least 12 weeks after nasal surgery.
2. Nasal Bones are stronger and thicker after healing is complete
3. Nasal cartilage is generally weaker & its strength depends on the cartilage remaining in the nose & the scar tissue component. The paucity of cartilage remnants in the nose may necessitate cartilage harvest from ears (Concha) in case revision surgery is necessitated by further trauma.
In an individual case I evaluate the above factors and advise accordingly. A blanket ban on all youngsters who are actively playing sports and have a functional or cosmetic nasal problem is perhaps excessive.
The decision should be left with the sportsperson and their family after their education and counseling.